Hiring Parish Employees Made for Mission

Parishes need employees ready for mission and eager to change the world. Today, Dave “The HR-Man” VanVickle shares his expertise and tips hiring successful and reliable parish employees that will transform your parish.

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“Connection is more important than perfection.”


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Working for the Church is not just a job, it’s calling to a mission rooted in prayer and discipleship.


Dave’s Hiring Tips:

1. Strive to have a minimum of 30 candidates. You need to draw as many candidates as possible.

2. Recommendations are good, but not perfect. Don’t rely solely on candidate’s group associations either. You need a comprehensive hiring process.

3. Don’t leave hiring entirely to the HR manager because they might not have the right vision. Make sure whoever is helping you hire understands mission and discipleship.

4. Be very clear about what you expect from the process of hiring and make it more rigorous than the job itself. 

5. When hiring, make sure the candidate’s references are from every previous job that is on their resume. Find out what previous coworkers and bosses think about the candidate.Try to understand why that person left their previous job.

6. Try to find references that aren’t on the candidate’s official list. This gives you a wider understanding about the candidate and whether they are the right cultural fit for your parish.

7. Before the actual in-person/zoom interview, set out very clear parameters about compensation. Include a trial period and map out the role’s salaries over the next ten years.

8. Have one more person in the room when you interview the candidate. Ask the candidate about their testimony, their prayer life, and their spirituality. Ask them as well about their community and friendships. Invite them to lead prayer and ask them to run an event at the parish. You can also ask them to submit a talk.

9. Ask the candidate this question- What previous bosses were you excited about or not excited about?

10. Put together a training schedule and have the candidate follow the training schedule for at least six months. Spend time reading Soul of the Apostolate together, praying together, etc. Also, layout how criticism works.

11. If you’re hiring a candidate right out of college, make sure you plan out their schedule for the next six months. 

12. Consider personality or temperaments tests.  Gomer recommends the Six Types of Working Genius. 


Pay attention to the “movement of the Holy Spirit” as you make your hiring decisions. 


Meet Your Hosts


Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael spent 17 years in full-time parish ministry and is now the Mission Evangelist for That Man Is You!, a men’s apostolate for Paradisus Dei. Michael is a frequent speaker at conferences, retreats, and parish missions all over the US and Canada.

He is the founder and creative director of LayEvangelist.com, and hosts three Catholic podcasts: Every Knee Shall Bow, Catching Foxes, and Becoming God.

He is married to his college sweetheart, Shannon, and has four beautiful and hilarious children: Kateri, Cecilia, Noah, and Thomas.


David “Dave” VanVickle

Dave VanVickle

Dave VanVickle fell in love with the Lord at the age of fourteen and has since dedicated his life to bringing others into a radical relationship with Christ.

He is a speaker and retreat leader who focuses on proclaiming the universal call to holiness, authentic Catholic spirituality, spiritual warfare and deliverance. Additionally, Dave has over ten years of experience assisting Priests with their ministries of exorcism and deliverance.

Dave married his late wife Amber in 2010. He now resides in Pittsburgh with his five children: Sam, Max, Judah, Josie and Louisa.

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