2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 45,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 10 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: Church Strategies

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 40,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 15 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: Church Strategies

Stop Fishing in the Wrong Lake- Creating a Recruiting Strategy

In the previous draft Top Talent Acquisition: Stop Fishing in the Wrong Lake, we spoke about the importance of broadening your recruiting strategy.  Today, we are going to talk about developing a recruiting strategy, or as I would prefer to title it, “How Not to Kill Your Recruiter and the Recruiting Strategy”.  (Decided that one wouldn’t be as marketable of a title.)  So, here are some basic steps:

1. Job Description:  There is nothing I detest more than having an ambiguous job I am expected to fill.  If you are looking for a java developer with a certain certification, have that in the job description, don’t add it later as a filter through which you will grade all candidates provided to you.  Job descriptions should have the following:

  • Something about the company.  So many times companies forget this portion.  Sell your company in a couple of lines.  Create an interest not only in the job itself, but the organization it supports.  Many people would look at an HR Generalist role and see something pretty bland, but what if it was for Google?  That would change things wouldn’t it?
  • Paint a picture of the job. Don’t only talk about what you are looking for in terms of qualifications, but talk about the scope of the position as well.  Help a candidate be able to see themselves in the position.  Remember, a job description is a form of marketing, use it to its max capacity.
  • Requirements.  This is the sticky portion.  According to several regulations, you will want to make sure this section is sealed tight but not too tight.  Have your requirements listed, but include a range.  For instance, if you are looking for someone who is bilingual, but it isn’t a deal killer, you can state something along the lines of: “Fluent in English, fluency in Chinese is highly favored.”  This allows the candidate (or at least the ones who read the job description) know that if they do not speak Chinese they can still apply and for those who do speak it, well, they just got a gold star!

2.  Follow UP!  One thing that can kill a recruiter’s drive is when they identify a candidate for you, after some painstaking conversations, and you go dark on them.  Understanding things happen and take priority over talking with your recruiter, however, if you start to show a lack of interest in the position, the recruiter will most likely do the same.  Most good recruiters are sales people at heart and aim to please the client, but also aim to “make a kill.”

On the flip side of that, be sure to honor appointments with candidates.  It amazes me how managers will blow off phone interviews or miss appointments with candidates who are interested in the position.  There are no words for what type of impression that leaves with a candidate.  And when you have met with them, provide feedback to both the candidate and the recruiter about next steps.

3. Pull the trigger. So, you’ve interviewed several candidates, narrowed it down to the one you want… so what are you waiting for?  Many times, I will have had to endure constant requests for updates and hounding about a particular position only to have the offer negotiation process drag out for weeks.  If you know what you want, then you should know what you want to pay for it, therefore, you should be able to pull the trigger.  This is the last place you want to appear indecisive.

With all of the turbulence in the market and in every industry, excellence in recruiting can sometimes take a back seat.  I would urge every leader to be wary of this common mistake.  Remember, once you get them on, sometimes, it’s hard to get them out.  Be sure you have a strategy so you don’t find yourself fishing for a trout, only to find you’ve hired a murderous shark!   Happy fishing!

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help organizations incorporate best practices into their business to help them succeed. In his free time, he also writes a lot on his other blog, Christian Men, Christian Warrior.

Categories: Church Strategies

Do Your Team a Favor-Drop the Loser

If there is one thing that send my blood pressure into orbit quicker than getting pulled over by a cop, it’s managers who say, “But I can’t get rid of them.”  Um, to quote the recent presidential campaign, YES YOU CAN and to add to it, YES YOU SHOULD!

Robert Weinberg’s book on caner, “One Renegade Cell” he emphasizes how many bizarre things must happen for a cancer cell to be produced, implanted and eventually, silently, and mysteriously grow to such proportions that it threatens the very existence of its host. With this in mind, we will briefly explore the various phases which neoplasms go through on their way to becoming a life threatening malignancy to your organization.

Before getting into what you should do, let’s get into what you should look for.  Think over your team for a moment.  Make a T-Chart.  On one side of the chart, write down the list of people on your team whom you would lose sleep over if they turned a resignation in tomorrow.  On the other side, write down a list of those on your team you find yourself secretly smiling at the prospect of them resigning.  Now that you know the who…

The truth is, team members who are not engaged are a drag on momentum.  Either through vocal disapproval of progress or the gregarious, often secretive, act of digging their heels in against forward movement, these team members drag any successful effort you plan into the ground.  I know from experience as a performer, I want my leader to rid the team of such people and when they don’t, it makes me question, “So why am I working so hard when obviously it’s not a real mandate?”

On the flipside, I have also been one of those against progress.  Looking back to a job early in my career, I was one of those who needed to be drop kicked off the cliff.  Now, I was a performer.  Not being cocky, but I was the top performer on my team from a quantitative point of view.  However, when things did not go my way, my attitude was cancerous.  I was the one who secretly plotted against plans I did not buy into and even at times, made it a point to let everyone know vocally my disapproval.  Looking back, I now understand and am grateful I was pushed out.  Although I resigned, (to have the last word) the reality was, I pushed myself out through my own actions.  To be honest, it was the best learning lesson I had professionally. 

In most cases, the cancer cells in your team do not even realize how cancerous they are.  There are three good reasons for this:

  • In most cases, they are completely oblivous to their own fault, in large part due to their obsession with finding fault in everything else.
  • Those members on your team rarely confront the cancer cells, choosing rather to take the path of least resistance, thereby, allowing the cancer to slowly spread.
  • Partially your fault.  Plain and simple.  As the leader of the group, you have to confront this cancer and either 1. Treat the illness through coaching 2. Cut it out all together.  There are three options for a coaching strategy to consider for these types: coach them up, coach them over (find a better fit for their skill set), or coach them out.

Remember, bizarre things must happen for a cancer cell to be produced, implanted and eventually, silently, and mysteriously grow to such proportions that it threatens the very existence of its host.  We have addressed three of these “bizzarre things” in this post.  In the next post, we will talk more on your three coaching strategies to address the cancer of the team. 

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help organizations incorporate best practices into their business to help them succeed. In his free time, he also writes a lot on his other blog, Christian Men, Christian Warrior.

For my professional resume, click here

Categories: Church Strategies

Great book for Rural Churches

December 21, 2010 2 comments

I just completed reading “Transforming Church in Rural America” which is a great read for anyone in the ministry.  Shannon doesn’t merely teach you in this book how grow a big church in a small community. He doesn’t give you step by step, “here’s how you do exactly what we are doing.” Those kind of books are on my bookshelf – unread. I’ve grown tired of those. Instead, Shannon shares how to hear from God, how to stick to His vision, how to pursue the vision, and how to maintain it.

Categories: Church Strategies

Critical HR Information for Churches

As many of you may have noticed, the world of Employment Law-or the law governing how you interact with your church staff- is ever-changing with the new administration.  Even though I deal with Human Resource topics daily, I still find myself behind the learning curve of current HR events.

On April the 2nd, my company, SourcePointe of Alabama-a Human Resources Outsourcing company- provided its clients a Lunch and Learn on the various topics of today’s hectic HR scene.  As a benefit, I am passing along this information to you as a courtesy and investment into your ministry.  With all of the changes, I want to first be sure you are protected.  If you would like to view the presentation, please click here.

If you currently outsource your payroll, I would encourage you to give me a call today so  I can work with you on strategies to save money, while providing you additional support through our company, SourcePointe.  As a very high-level over-view, we provide the following:

Ø  Payroll Administration including-

Ø  Benefit Administration including-

  • 401(k) retirement plan
  • Medical plans
  • Voluntary life insurance
  • Short & Long-term disability
  • plan administration

Ø  Human Resources Administration and Compliance including consulting on-

  • Fair labor standards act
  • Family and medical leave act
  • Equal employment opportunity
  • Wage and hour regulations
  • On-site consultations provided

Please enjoy the information provided to you and consider giving me a call if you have any further questions at 205.868.1557.

logo_facebook

About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

Just the Word

This past weekend, my wife and I took our children to Lifeway Christian stores.  As part of our Easter gift to them, we let each of the three pick out a new Bible.

The oldest, Braxton, is especially interested in reading things for himself.  After some bantering back and forth, he had his hopes locked in on a particular Bible that had a lot of pictures and very few words.  We looked around a bit and found the new Veggie Tales Bible which is a nice transition from the kids’ Bible to the more adult Bible.  One look at it, and he determined he didn’t want it.

I decided to work some “parental magic” on him and diplomatically got him to bring the Veggie Tale Bible with him as we walked over to where the Adult Bibles were.  I picked up one of the NIVs off of the shelf and sat down with him.  I selected a Scripture passage in the bible I had and had Braxton turn to the same passage in his.  Since I knew how much Braxton wanted to learn about Scripture, I thought the best way to get him to step up is to show him how similar the Veggie Tales Bible was to the “big person Bible.”

After I read the passage from the Bible I had, Braxton read the same passage out of his and instantly, his little face brightened with a smile.  Now, as a parent, I thought silently to myself, “I won!”  It was a short-lived victory because the lesson to be learned in this situation was not for Braxton, but rather more for me.

Braxton asked if he could look at my Bible and as he looked through it, he simply looked at me and said, “I don’t want the Veggie Tale Bible, I want this one.”  I spent some time trying to tell him that one was too old for him and that he needed to start out with the other one.  He said he didn’t want a Bible with any pictures in it.  Why?  His reason, simply put, struck my core.  With simple innocence, Braxton looked at me and gave me his reasoning:

“I just want the Word.”

I couldn’t hardly find any words to tell him no.  In fact, I was so busy trying to hold back tears that speaking was simply a bystander thought.  Granted, Braxton most likely meant he only wanted one with words, however, my spirit knew what Christ was saying through him to me.  And as you can see, a week later, the situation still consumes me.

How often do we spend Easter or Christmas focusing on what to wear to service, who’s going to get what, and what songs will be sung at church?  I know personally,  I have read several blogs this week talking about how to make the service more “attractive” or “inciting” to the visiting lost.  Churches will practice new songs, bring additional people into the choir, have additional services, but what is the real reason?

I guess as I sit and ponder upon Good Friday and think of Christ’ life, death, and resurrection, I am awestruck.  Jesus didn’t have the grand pianos, large choirs, or anything similar to Power Point, he simply had the Word.  After all, John 1 tells us he was the Word. And with only the Word, he drew masses of people.  In fact, you could say his sermon on the Mount was the first “mega-church.”

I am not, in any way, knocking the intense focus on making the Easter Celebration a grand event.  After all, it is worth more than any show, service, or anything we could ever put on.  I guess Braxton’s words just struck my core, challenging me to wonder how often I go to church looking for the “pictures on the page”.  Rather, I hope I begin having my heart, mind, soul, and flesh cry out, “I just want the Word.”

I sincerely hope you all have a great Easter…

logo_facebook

About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

Categories: Church Strategies
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,300 other followers