I have seen article after article about how to reach millennials in church, how to speak to them, how to create events for them … it just goes on and on. One thing that I have learned from being involved in the recruiting world is that the people on your staff attract the same type of people to your church. The staff of your church determine the style, feel, and environment. If you hire millennials, they will build the right environment to attract millennials to your church. However, the typical church is not equipped to attract millennial talent.
Here are a few tips to help drive the talent you’re looking for to apply for the job you’re offering:
Have a decent website
You don’t have to look like a mega church, but most likely you’re not going to attract younger talent if you don’t have a decent website. Millennials don’t want to work somewhere that just started using email—and having a terrible website that was designed in the 90s sends that message. The typical millennial in ministry doesn’t expect your church to be on the forefront of technology, but give them an understanding that the church is ready to adopt new technologies and that they can bring your church into a new season of ministry. If you don’t know where to start, find a church with a website that you really like. It most likely will have pages like I’m New, What’s Happening, Get Involved, Location, Media, Groups, Next Steps, Leadership Team, etc.
Do not ask anything to be mailed to the church
If you’re still relying on mail to receive resumes, cover letters, or even videos of someone’s message, you’re not going to get a millennial to apply. You need to be posting your job with the ability to receive all forms of application to an email address, or through the job board itself. I can’t even remember the last time I sent a paper letter to anyone besides the IRS.
Provide as many resources as you’re asking for
I cringe every time I see a job description that is about 25 words and asks for a resume, statement of faith, four videos, a cover letter, and a 200 question test. If your church absolutely requires all of these things, you need to be able to provide almost as much information as well. If you’re asking for a video, give the candidate a video of your church. If you’re asking for a cover letter, write the potential candidate a letter. Keep in mind that the candidates don’t know who you are; you need to provide them with a reason to do all of this work only for you. Much of what a church asks for cannot be used more than once so they must repeat this process multiple times for each application.
Convey passion in your job posting
Everyone has read an article about how millennials have been less interested in a high salary and more interested in making an impact in the world. Make sure that your job description conveys the church’s passion for your city, your passion for the ministry that this person will support, and your passion for the growth of the candidate to be hired!
Have mentorship opportunities
This shouldn’t just be for millennials, but any role that you have at your church. I hear this great quote all the time.
CFO: What happens if we train them and they leave?
CEO: What happens if we don’t, and they stay? —Anonymous
One of the things that peaks someone’s interest in a job is the opportunity to grow past the role. The worry is that if you do invest in someone’s training, they’ll leave for a better opportunity. If you do train them and they leave, you can rest assured that you have built a better disciple for Christ, and that they will further the kingdom. If you don’t train them and they stay, your church will always have challenges with growth. If your staff isn’t learning, your church isn’t growing.
Utilize social media
Part of effective recruiting is engaging candidates where they already are. If you want to find a millennial, you’re not going to find one if you put an ad in a local newspaper. Make sure to post your job online, promote it on social media, and spread the word using the channels that you know your ideal candidate is spending their time. If you don’t have a social media presence, that’s problem number one! Start with Facebook, and expand to Twitter or Instagram when you’re feeling ready.
Take an active approach
One of the reasons why recruiters are able to find that perfect candidate that you haven’t been able to find for six months, is that they look for them! Just like you should be promoting your job post through different channels, you should be on the hunt. If you’d like to find a millennial, make sure you’re looking on Linkedin. Most people don’t post that they’re looking for a new job. Try sending some messages or connecting with some people on Linkedin with a quick “We’d love to chat about a role that we’re hiring for.” Even if they don’t have interest themselves, they have their own network and may have the perfect candidate for you. Don’t be shy!
As a millennial myself, there’s plenty of reasons why I would look past any of these challenges when in a job search. However, these are going to be barriers for you if you want to hire a younger pastor. If you have any questions at all about millennials in ministry, I would love to chat. Email me at email@example.com.
Article originally posted on the Hire Church Staff blog, found at this link.