Celebrate Great Hires (Employees) in Business and at Work

As a member of the Search Committee for our church’s first full-time Director of Religious Education (DRE), I performed many of the tasks pro bono that are second-nature to me as a career Recruiter:  crunching the numbers for due diligence to justify the hire; developing the job posting to attract the “best fit” candidate; whipping up the interview questions that help develop the complete picture of each candidate; conducting the phone screens and then the in-person interviews for the two finalists – you get the drift.

Nothing gives me more pleasure as a recruiting / human resources / organization effectiveness geek than to see those great hires live up to their promise, and soar.

Although Melissa was our Interim DRE, we subjected her to the same rigor as the external candidates – and perhaps a bit more.  There is an additional degree of difficulty when you pursue a paid position in the congregation where you are also a member:  a bit similar to going to work in the family business as a beloved relative, carrying that same double-edged sword.

After that rigorous vetting process, we as a Search Committee were unanimously convinced that Melissa was the best candidate.  Consequently, we offered her the position.

And for nearly 7 years, Melissa has lived up to that new hire promise and more,  as the heart, mind and soul at the center of the success of our great RE program, expanding the ground-breaking work of her part-time predecessor / colleague DRE.  Melissa’s  commitment and her passion are second to none.  And she has a gentle yet persuasive way of engaging our larger community to participate in that successful program, from a Homemade Holidays crafting event for creating gifts from the heart that has become a holiday tradition for our family, to convincing my usually congregationally averse husband Joel to teach the Kindergarten / First Grade RE class for the last 6 years.

As the frosting on this great hire cake, Melissa recently achieved her certification as a Credentialed Religious Educator, which is a rather difficult and arduous process, requiring a great deal of time and study.  Melissa was honored by our congregation in several traditional and morale-lifting ways, and this week, on the main stage at the annual General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist congregations in Louisville, Kentucky, Melissa was honored nationally:


Melissa walking across the stage at GA, 2013


I invite you to take a moment this week to reflect on the ROI that your best / great hires have delivered, and thank and lift them up accordingly, in business and at work.




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