Leveraging Technology Helps Us Find the Right Fit
One of my fondest Christmas memories was the year that my sister and I received our first computer, a Tandy 1000SL. I was utterly astounded by the capabilities of this beast of a machine that was nowhere near as powerful as the phone I now carry around in my pocket. Technology has come a long way since that Christmas morning, and when I stop and really think about how far it has come and what it allows us to do, I am utterly astounded.
Twenty-one years ago my partner Todd upended the way that churches found their pastors when he created churchstaffing.com. With the launch of that website, churches could easily find pastors from all over the country. All these years later, we are using technology to again change how churches find their ministry staff. Previously, I shared how Chemistry uses technology to develop a deep understanding of your church without expensive onsite visits. There is another way that we use technology, to interview candidates.
When I talk to churches who have worked with other firms about our process, I am often asked whether we lose something by not interviewing candidates in person. My answer is a resounding “no.” We have found that video technology allows us to learn more about a candidate than flying them in for a conversation at an airport lounge ever will… at a fraction of the time and travel expenses. Late last month (January 2020) Chemistry conducted its 1,000th candidate interview. We have learned a ton over the course of those interviews, and have come to believe that video conferencing technology is one of the greatest tools that we and churches have in finding the right ministry staff. Here’s why we are convinced that video works for interviewing candidates:
- Comfortable Environment: Video allows candidates to take part in our conversations from wherever they are comfortable, which typically allows them to drop their guard. This level of comfort allows us to have conversations about difficult subjects without worrying about who is listening in, or what is appropriate to be shared in a public place. We can also tell a great deal about someone by looking at the setting they are in.
- Casual Feel: Skype, FaceTime, and the myriad of other video chat options have made these types of conversations quite normal. This allows for a far more casual, conversational feel to the interviews that you conduct over video. Rather than showing up in a suit and tie, candidates typically show up in more comfortable clothing and take a more relaxed posture. This relaxed feel allows us to have conversations that go beyond the traditional interview, allowing us to gain a deep understanding of the candidates that we interview.
- Recordability: Video allows us to record our conversations and refer back to them as we go deeper into the process. Our interview teams are able to see what was said in a previous interview, compare notes with the rest of the team, and investigate contradictions or areas that need more clarity.
- Accessibility: The ubiquity of video platforms makes the technology easy to access by nearly everyone. It also simplifies the logistics of scheduling interviews. In the old days, interviewing a candidate meant flying to their city, camping out in an airport lounge, and renting a conference room. Video platforms allow people to conduct interviews from wherever, whenever. The added bonus is that the money that was previously spent on travel and conference rooms can now be put towards ministry.
If you are getting ready to look for your next teammate, I’d love to spend some time sharing more of what we have learned about leveraging technology to find the right fit. Click here and let’s have a conversation.