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5 Tips to Attract High Capacity Staff Leaders in a Non-Attractive Location

By: Katie Fridsma, Vanderbloemen Search Group

In attracting high capacity candidates for an open ministry position, location can often play a big factor.  It won’t be difficult to appeal to jobseekers if your church or ministry is in the heart of a bustling, opportunity-filled metropolis.  But this isn’t the case for all position openings.  What if you are seeking to fill a church position that is located in a city that isn’t quite so glamorous or alluring as Chicago, Nashville, or Southern California?  Here are five tips to market a ministry position in a less-than-desirable location.

1.   Be honest!

Discuss the elephant in the room upfront.  Address any aspects of the position and location that a candidate might see as negative.  Is it a small town?  Poor economy?  Don’t brush it under the rug for the candidate to discover later on his or her own.  Instead, be straightforward about the location, and highlight the positive aspects on the flipside. For example, “We know ______ is a rural area, but everyone knows their neighbors here and you can’t beat the cost of living.”

2.   Use Visuals and Descriptive Elements

Does your small town have picket fences and rolling hills?  Does your gritty, urban area have a killer view of the skyline at every sunset?  Provide pictures to your candidates.  Is it an area that offers great hiking, rafting, or other nature-related activities?  Appeal to the nature-lover in your description of the locale.  Describe how your town is like Mayberry, or Bedford Falls; paint a picture of what family life is like in your area.  Have any films been shot in your area or novels based in your town?  Refer your candidates to check out those resources.  Maybe you have a great facility.  Perhaps there are awesome schools in your area.  Show off your church and the community life through visuals and appealing descriptions.

3.   Highlight Proximity to a Larger City

Many people don’t mind or even prefer to live outside of a large city, especially if they are able to drive into a bigger town for occasional attractions or city-life.   Make sure to point out what large or well-known cities are around your church or ministry, and let candidates know how long the commute is.  Tell them what attractions or activities are offered in surrounding towns.

4.   Offer Benefits and Incentives

If you’re going to get a high capacity candidate to move to an area they’re not thrilled about, think about what benefits and incentives you can throw in to make your offer more attractive.  Highlight the insurance you provide and the relocation package you’re offering.  Think about providing housing allowances, paying for training and continuing education, assisting a spouse with their job-hunt, or offering childcare or schooling stipends. 

5.  Appeal to the Personality You’re Recruiting

Are you seeking someone who is a self-starter or a visionary?  Describe how your position offers freedom for innovation or change.  Everyone wants to use his or her passions and make a difference, so appeal to that universal desire.  A rockstar candidate is more likely to move to a not-so-appealing location if they feel that they could truly make an impact there.   Tell candidates that your position offers them the opportunity to effect true change, to start a movement, to use their entrepreneurial gifts, or to create and execute their own vision. 

If a candidate sees an opportunity for a large amount of personal and career growth in a position, they are less likely to be turned off by an unattractive location.   These five tips can help you portray your location honestly and in a way that appeals to type of candidate you are seeking for your ministry position.



This article was provided by our church executive search partner, Vanderbloemen Search Group. To learn more about Vanderbloemen Search Group's recruiting services and how they can help you fill your open position, click here. To read more insightful articles on Vanderbloemen's blog, click here.

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