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Essential tasks

  • Narrowing the pool of candidates to a manageable number. A smaller number of candidates allows for deeper, more informative conversations with those candidates.
  • Communicating with candidates the search team chooses not to interview. Informing candidates that they are no longer in consideration frees them up to make good choices about other search opportunities.
  • Sending additional information on the position, church, and community to candidates the search team plans to interview. Transparency breeds trust.
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Reflection questions

  • After reading the profiles and/or resumes, whom do we want to learn more about?
  • What do we want to make sure continuing candidates understand about our congregation, the position, and/or the process?
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Best practices

  • Making clearance calls to ensure candidates are still available and interested
  • Refraining from requesting additional information from candidates that is out of proportion with the search team’s investment in them (e.g., multi-page questionnaires)
  • Naming the difference between a candidate that would stretch the congregation and one that might break it
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  • Article about eliminating gender bias in the evaluation process (geared for congregations who have called a female minister, but helpful for search as well) available here from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership
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From the candidate's perspective

  • Anxiety and/or anticipation in the wait to hear if the candidate will be invited to meet with the search team by phone or internet or in person.
  • Aggravation if the search team asks for additional materials that will be time-intensive to write or gather without any indication of team’s level of investment.
  • Frustration if references get the opportunity to talk with the search team before the candidate.
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Are we ready for the next stage?

  • The search team has set up interviews with candidates it wants to know more about.
  • The search team has sent additional information to these candidates about the congregation, position, and preparation requested for interviews.
  • The search team has communicated with all other candidates to release them from the process.
  • The search team has updated the congregation on the search’s progress.

Go to next stage