And by that I mean we have 3 phases; conversation phase, presentation stage, interview phase. The idea is that we don’t go to the interview phase until we are 90% certain we have the right person for the role.
In the conversation phase the senior minister (or the staff member who’s going to be in charge if the new employee) is having pretty casual conversations with various people about the job. It’s really clear that these are just conversations, no commitment from either party. It’s very much “checking each other out”.
In the presentation phase, the potential employee come along to a staff meeting or a staff lunch just to hang out with the other staff. This may happen many times. The point of these is to give the staff every opportunity to see things the SP didn’t see and suggest this isn’t the right candidate.
After all these catch ups and informal conversations, the SP will arrange an interview with a selection of staff, elders and congregation members (3-8 in total). Here, the SP acts as an advocate for the potential employee rather than a member of the interview panel. The idea is to give the person the best possible chance or presenting well.
After this the candidate will leave and the panel discuss them and offer a suggestion to the SP about whether he should go ahead with the candidate.
The panel might say “all good” or they may be divided, or they may even all say no. At this point the SP (or staff member overseeing the employment) will decide whether or not to go ahead. The panel isn’t there to choose, but to confirm the endorsement of the candidate.
It would be very odd if the panel didn’t endorse the candidate, and the SP went ahead to employment… But that’s a real chance.