Is this an identical role, a changed role, or a completely new role that needs filling?
Firstly, you need to spend time gathering information about the job and what the requirements actually are:
- If you are simply recruiting for a replacement for a current role, start by taking a good look at the current job description. Does it need updating in any way? Have the job requirements changed? Have the aims of the role changed? Are there new skills that are needed?
- If it is a completely new role, what exactly are your requirements?
You need to consider the main purpose of the job, and how the job fits into the existing structure of your organisation / church.
You also need to think about the main activities or duties of the role (this will make up the job description), and the knowledge, skills and abilities that jobholders will need to do them (which will form the basis of the person specification) - we go into detail on these in the next section.
Once you have done this basic analysis it is a good idea to present your results to managers and to other similar jobholders as well (if there are any), to ensure your analysis is accurate and that you haven’t missed anything important.
It is also important to consider flexibility at this stage – if you are able to be open to flexible working or potential job-sharing, you may well open up the vacancy to more people.
Who should be involved?
Ideally, you would have the same people meeting together (at least) three times during the recruitment and selection process to form a panel to:
- draft the job description and person specification, and agree the content of an advert
- shortlist the applications
- run the interview and assessments, and make an appointment / a job offer
In a larger organisation the panel would ideally include the line manager the successful candidate will report to, others who are trained to interview job candidates (if at all possible), and a member of the HR dept (if your organisation has one).
In a smaller organisation, bring together the person who will have responsibility for managing the new staff member, someone who can oversee the process from an HR point of view, and possibly the overall Director or a more senior manager.
In a church setting, there are a number of people and key stakeholders who could be involved - the person who will have responsibility for managing the successful candidate, representative(s) from the church leadership team and/or from the specific ministry area that the new person will be working in, and it would be helpful if someone from the staff or congregation who has knowledge of HR issues or interviewing skills is included or involved in some way. The key here is to get a small team who can oversee the process, but then to involve appropriate others as and when necessary.
If it’s not possible for the same people to meet each time, at the very least have one person who can play an active role at every stage and be the constant throughout the process.