Should Your Church Use Technology for Recruiting Staff?

By Justin Lathrop

Have you heard the news? Another traditional print piece is going electronic. Employee recruiters and human resource departments say that the paper resume is going digital. This has been happening. The difference is now this shift is mainstream.

The trend was noted in this article from Mashable along with four reasons recruiters should stop accepting traditional paper resumes. Instead, recruiters should focus on social media searches when assessing new talent. In fact, a recent survey reported that 92% of recruiters already use social media as part of the recruiting process. I think we’ll see more churches using technology for their recruiting in the coming years, too.

Here are Mashable’s four reasons, along with my thoughts on how they apply to the church:

1. Better representation of candidates

One of the problems with a traditional resume is that it doesn’t give you a complete picture of the candidate. Limited space means you get limited insight into the potential fit the candidate might be with the position you’re looking to fill. With social media, you can discover a person’s passions, hobbies, who they follow, and how much he or she is connected with other professionals.

I bet you’ll learn more about potential new staff members by skimming their Twitter feed for 10 minutes than you ever would by reading their resumes!

2. Social media shows creativity

This is especially true if you’re looking for someone on your communications or tech team. More than likely, you can go out and find a new recruit based on the work they’ve done already rather than potential candidates submitting work to you directly. This can reduce needless conversations and speed up the decision-making process.

3. Makes a candidate three-dimensional

Traditional resumes squash potential pastors or staff members into a two-dimensional list of objectives, education, experience, and honors. It’s extremely important for your next pastor or staff member to be the perfect fit for your church, not just have the most experience. The more data you have, the better prepared you’ll be when it’s time to make your next hiring decision.

4. Demonstrates social media fluency

If your church sees social media as an opportunity to connect with members and achieve your mission of growing the Kingdom, then you want to be sure your staff members are part of that movement. By researching candidates through social media, you’ll be able to identify how active a person is on various social media channels. This doesn’t mean you don’t hire someone because they’re not on Twitter, but you will be be able to recognize how much they value social media.

What people do is more descriptive of what they value than what they say they value.

Obviously, social media isn’t the end-all, be-all to finding the right candidate for your church’s next hire. But it is a non-traditional way to gather information about potential new hires that could be vital to your evaluation process.

What do you think about the “social media resume”? Have you used it for your church or know of anyone who has? How did it work?

Justin Lathrop

With over a dozen years of local church ministry Justin has spent the last several years starting business' and ministries that partner with pastors and churches to advance the Kingdom. He is the founder of Helpstaff.me (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership, and MinistryCoach.tv all while staying involved in the local church.

Justin is obsessed with connecting people to people and lives his life daily to make the world a smaller place. He now serves as a consultant in the area of strategic relations predominately working with the Assemblies of God, helping to build bridges with people and ministries to more effectively reach more people.

He blogs regularly about what he has learned from making connection at www.justinlathrop.com.