As we approach the end of this year and get ready to welcome our new Lead Pastor, Eric Koehler to Fellowship, I thought this would be a good time to reflect back on how we were able to leverage technology to help us with the search effort. Before I go any further, don’t get me wrong – prayer (individually, as a team, and as a church) is and was the most important thing we did through out the process! The tech were simply tools to help us stay organized as a team and to better communicate with each other.
We officially kicked off our search team effort in June and by the end of October, God had made clear who His man was for us. The effort and time that is needed to conduct a search is quite large and I’m not sure how we would have done it without the right tools to keep us organized and focused.
Since we had 6 individuals on the Search Team, I knew group communication and collaboration was going to be a top priority and email alone was not the right tool.
Enter MemberHub.com. MemberHub is a great place to enable private group collaboration including discussions, group calendar, whiteboards, announcements and file uploads. The best part is that it is still tied to and integrated with your email, so that new activity on the Hub will still notify you via email.
The next tool that was essential to us being effective was a way to track resumes. Gone are the days where we’d request paper copies be sent to the church office and someone would make copies for the team look at when we’d come together in person for a meeting. There is no way we could have reviewed 400 resumes in that manner!
This is where Highrise by 37Signals came in. We would have been dead in the water with out it. Highrise is an online CRM tool that lets you track contacts (candidates in our case) that also integrates with your email. Our requirement was that all candidates had to submit resumes and cover letters via email to a unique account that was set up just for our search. Emails to that account were then forwarded to our Highrise dropbox account which is where the real beauty of the system comes in — Emails sent via the dropbox will create the contact in Highrise for you and attach the body of the mail and any attachments as part of the contacts diary / history. The search team would then review new entries in the Highrise and record our comments individually in the contacts history as well. We would also give each one a ranking of 1 to 5 stars via tags that were attached to the candidate. This allowed the search team to be able to work remotely in our homes or offices and dramatically limit the number of physical meetings we had to schedule. The tagging system allowed us to easily filter and sift through the candidates and determine which ones where viable and should be considered for interviews.
In the next post I’ll describe the tools that were used to making the interviewing process be more effective.