Along with internal equity and market comparison, a potential staff member’s formal background should be taken into consideration when determining appropriate compensation.
Here are the three primary areas of consideration:
- Degree or Non-Degree
- Area(s) Of Study
- Under Graduate Or Graduate Level
Based on the position requirements as documented in the job description, how close of a match is the candidate’s formal background? A closer match should result in compensation higher in the pay range and less of a match should result in compensation lower in the pay range.
What do I mean by a “close match?” For example, if we’re recruiting a children’s pastor we’re going to be looking for a teaching background. Specifically, an undergraduate degree in an area that’s relevant to teaching as well as a teaching certificate. In our church, at least, some formal background in “production” and maybe “speaking” would be very valuable. Versus a candidate that has some experience as a children’s pastor, but has a business or IT degree and no teaching certificate.
Another example would be an executive pastor candidate with no formal business background. A Bible degree and some church administration experience and gifting wouldn’t be as close a match to the position requirements as they relate to formal background.
Existing staff members should be rewarded over time for improving their formal background. For example, if a staff member is hired with no degree they may be eligible for a higher percentage increase in compensation the year they complete their degree. They might also receive a promotion to a higher grade level position upon graduation.