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Right-Size Your Church’s HR

Updated: 3 days ago

Ministry dollars are crucial, and as funds are allocated to meet current needs, staff changes sometimes occur that can affect ministry culture. During these transitions, Human Resource (HR) departments serve as a crucial bridge between employees and leadership. As the key players in attracting and hiring staff, HR departments also oversee training, onboarding and offboarding, and creating administrative procedures to support employees.

Here are some key areas of HR and strategies to improve them during times of change: 

Recruitment and Selection

Improving recruitment and selection processes is essential for attracting and hiring the right talent for an organization. Below are some strategies to enhance these areas:

  1.  Improve Job Descriptions to Attract Suitable Candidates

  • Use clear and concise language to describe job responsibilities, qualifications, and expectations.

  • Highlight the company culture, values, and benefits to attract candidates who align with the organization’s mission.

  • Incorporate relevant keywords to enhance visibility in online job searches.

  • Regularly review and update job descriptions to reflect changes in the role or organizational needs.


2.   Implement Competency-Based Interviews to Assess Skills Effectively

  • Identify key competencies essential for success in the role and create interview questions that address these competencies.

  • Train interviewers on how to conduct competency-based interviews effectively, ensuring consistency and fairness in the evaluation process.

  • Provide the interview committee with scoring guides or rubrics to evaluate candidates objectively based on predetermined criteria.

  • Gather feedback from interviewers and candidates to continually refine and improve the interview process.


3.    Utilize Technology for Efficient Candidate Screening and Selection Processes

  • Use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to streamline the recruitment process, from posting job openings to managing candidate applications.

  • Use video interviewing platforms to conduct initial screenings, saving time and resources for both candidates and the hiring committee.

  • Ensure that technology tools used in the recruitment process comply with data privacy regulations and promote fairness and diversity in candidate selection.


4.    Employee Onboarding

  • Develop a comprehensive onboarding program to integrate new hires smoothly into the organization.

  • This should include an introduction to the company culture, policies, procedures, and job-specific training.


5.    Employee Engagement

  • Conduct regular surveys to gather feedback, measure employee satisfaction, and identify areas for improvement.

  • Implement recognition programs to acknowledge employee contributions to boost morale and motivation.

  • Encourage open communication and create opportunities for employees to share their thoughts and concerns.


6.    Training and Development

  • Conduct skills assessments and performance evaluations to identify potential skill gaps.

  • Provide opportunities for mentoring, coaching, and job training to allow employees to expand their skills and advance their careers.

  • Utilize e-learning platforms for flexible and accessible training options.


7.    Performance Management


  • Set clearly defined performance expectations and goals.

  • Provide regular feedback and coaching to help employees understand their performance and areas for improvement.

  • Use performance appraisal systems that are objective, transparent, and tied to rewards and recognition.


8.    Employee Relations


  • Establish effective grievance handling procedures to ensure that employee concerns are addressed promptly and fairly.

  • Foster a positive work environment through team-building activities, recognition programs, and transparent communication, creating a sense of belonging and loyalty.

  • Promote diversity and inclusion initiatives to cultivate a culture of respect, fairness, and equal opportunity for all employees.


9.    Compensation and Benefits

  • Conduct regular market surveys to ensure compensation packages remain competitive.

  • Offer a comprehensive benefits package that meets the diverse needs of employees, including healthcare, retirement plans, and wellness programs, to enhance employee satisfaction and retention.

  • Implement performance-based incentive programs to recognize and motivate high performers to excel.


10.  HR Information Systems (HRIS)

  • Invest in modern HRIS platforms to automate administrative tasks, streamline HR processes, and improve data accuracy.

  • Provide training to HR staff to ensure they can effectively utilize HRIS tools to support organizational objectives.

  • Implement data security measures to protect sensitive employee information and ensure compliance with privacy regulations.


11.  Compliance and Legal Issues

  • Stay updated on labor laws and regulations to mitigate legal risks and ensure compliance.

  • Conduct regular audits to identify any compliance gaps and opportunities for improvement.

  • Provide training to HR staff and managers on legal requirements and best practices to minimize legal liabilities.


12.  Workforce Planning and Talent Management

  • Develop succession planning strategies to identify high-potential employees and prepare them for future leadership roles.

  • Analyze workforce trends to anticipate future talent needs and develop recruitment and retention strategies accordingly.

  • Implement talent development programs, such as leadership training and career pathing to attract and retain top talent and strengthen the organization’s bench strength.


Improving these areas requires a combination of strategic planning, effective communication, investment in technology and training, and a commitment to creating a positive work environment where employees feel valued and supported. Regular evaluation and adaptation of HR practices are also essential to meet the evolving needs of the organization and its employees.


Does your ministry need to improve its HR practices and processes but not sure where to start? UMC Support’s HR Team offers a variety of HR services to organizations within the UMC Connection. Contact us today at for more information! 


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