When it comes time to call or hire a church worker, a good job description is the essential tool to enable you to determine the right person for the position.
In order to write a good job description, you need to be familiar with the position itself. Not as it was or is currently, but what you want it to be for the future. This is very important. If you have a position based upon past or current requirements, you will limit your church or school’s growth to where you are now.
First, you want to make certain that the position is matched to the goals of your church and/or school. It should exist in support of those goals. If it does not support any of the goals directly or indirectly, then question why the position exists.
Next, look at what is required in the position – what has to be done. Look to how the position can be improved both in terms of efficiencies and for the future. Confer with others who are impacted directly and indirectly by the position, for they are the “customers” of the position. Outline what their needs or desires of the position are. This is an essential part of the process that should be done each time you hire for the position. Look at what works or does not work. Build upon that.
A fundamental element of the job description is the job title. A good job title reflects the nature of the job and the duties being performed. It should be generic enough that it can be compared to similar positions. If it is a “public” posting, it should be self-explanatory, not using any “churchy” words or descriptions. It could also include a reporting ranking the position with others in your organization.
The job description should contain a list of the duties and responsibilities associated with the role, along with the amount of time expected to be dedicated to each task. This should be represented as a percentage (i.e. filing 20%, data entry 40% etc). Descriptions of duties should be no more than two or three sentences in length and should be outcome-based, containing an action, an object and a purpose keeping them as short as possible.
Skills and competencies should be listed separately from each other, as they are two quite separate things. Skills are activities the candidate can perform based on what they have learned in the past, or from qualifications they have obtained. They can include such things as proficiencies in software, machine operation, etc.
Competencies are the traits or attributes you expect the candidate to display in the role. It is a something that can be learned through study and practice. Leadership, teamwork, communication, are examples of competencies.
It is imperative that all skills and competencies be identified if they are indeed required of the position. These requirements provide not only a clear picture of the position, but can be utilized for performance evaluations later.
A description of the relationships and roles within the company, including supervisory positions, subordinating roles and other working relationships
The salary range
Any travel requirements
Usage of terms that the general public is familiar with
An enthusiastic introduction to your church/school and its mission
The location of your church/school
If done correctly, a job description will help lead to the selection of the best candidate for the position. With job description in hand, and with prayerful consideration, you can have a winning team working towards your mission.
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