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Authored by Chris Hall, Manager, Human Resources


More than a human resource

In the fall of 2014 I was fortunate enough to travel to Western Canada and parts of Ontario to deliver a regional seminar entitled, ‘More than a Human Resource‘.  Although I had only been on the job for a short time, this proved to be a great way to meet CCCC members and hear about some of the every day challenges they face in navigating the employment relationship.

Participants shared that the Human Resources (HR) function of smaller charities is often overseen by folks without a background in HR, and who are stretched thin for time.  While there is a real desire to have their HR function reflect best practice and legislative compliance, many lack confidence in their HR practices, and simply hope for the best.

CCCC members surveyed about human resources

A recent CCCC member survey of about 130 small (1-9 employees) and medium (10-99 employees) sized charities identified that their most common Human Resources needs are in the areas of:

  • Compensation: 63.3%
  • HR policy and program development: 53.3%
  • Employee relations: 47.5%

Those who have outsourced HR services in the past expressed concerns that secular providers often do not understand the unique challenges (e.g. deputized fundraising) faced by Christian charities.

Highlights of HR resources already available to CCCC members

Before explaining the value that CCCC’s HR Program can add to your charity, I will start by describing many of the great HR related supports and resources that are already available to members as part of their existing membership with CCCC.

Bulletin articles

CCCC researches and writes Bulletin articles on a broad range of HR related topics from the perspective of Christian charities.  For example, CCCC’s October 2015 Bulletin includes articles on:

  • Writing job descriptions
  • Staff member resignations
  • Maintaining proper employment records

Membership with CCCC also gives users access to templates (e.g. job description, employment contract, resignation check list etc.) which charities can then adapt for their own use.

The HR practical blog

Last year, CCCC launched a new blog called The HR Practical.  Our first blog post on why every charity should be working to become more accessible seemed to really resonate with readers, and we look forward to continuing to engage with charities about HR related topics that are timely and relevant to them.

Canadian ministry compensation survey

CCCC’s Canadian Ministry Compensation Survey is a national salary survey of over 1,200 churches and Christian agencies that allows users to generate compensation reports filtered by ministry type and position.  The survey only takes about 10-15 minutes to complete, and provides data on ministry positions (e.g. Senior pastor) not typically found in secular offerings.  The survey is available to CCCC members for free, and non-members can participate for a fee of $200.

 CCCC Handbook and member support

CCCC’s Handbook makes it easier for charities to distinguish between independent contractors and employees before they make the decision to hire, and includes a wealth of information from a payroll perspective.  Our chapter on the employment relationship also provides relevant information to charities when it comes to volunteers and interns.  Members can also call or email their questions in confidence, as CCCC provides general education to members in the area of HR.

How can CCCC’s HR program provide added value to your charity?

Having an HR department often isn’t cost effective for small-to-mid-sized Christian ministries, yet their HR needs can be pressing. Creating policies, crafting job descriptions, and staying on top of employment legislation are just a few of the everyday challenges.  And while there is great value in the HR related resources described above, it falls to members to take that information and apply it in the context of their own charity.  Put another way, it is up to the charity to actually ‘do’ the work.

Larger charities, even those with one or more HR professionals on staff, will also benefit from using this service to compliment their in-house HR expertise.  HR professionals who are new to the Christian charitable sector quickly find that they have to adapt their corporate HR experiences for a much different context, and will appreciate the opportunity to utilize this service as part of their onboarding experience.

The value of this service is that it allows your charity to hire a Christian HR professional to assist with specific projects that you may not have the time or confidence to tackle on your own.  Examples of how charities can use time purchased in this program are described below and can also be found in our program brochure called What’s In Your HR Toolkit?:

Accessibility Compliance Package – Is Your Charity Ready for January 1, 2017? (Ontario)

Smaller charities with 1-49 employees will be required to meet a number of specific requirements by January 1, 2017 and may find the requirement around making employment practices accessible particularly challenging.

To successfully meet these requirements, charities are advised to begin the preparation process now.  The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario actively conducts audits, and failure to comply with accessibility requirements may result in legal action, including inspections, Director’s orders and financial penalties.

CCCC will work with you to ensure that the proper training is conducted, records of training are kept and that your charity has the proper accessibility policies and practices in place.

Baseline HR Review

CCCC’s baseline review of your charity’s HR function will provide you with a prioritized listing of recommendations that your leadership team can then use to focus your efforts and plan for next steps.

The advantage to this approach is that instead of simply putting out fires, your ministry can become more proactive in building its HR capacity and your board will have more confidence about its fiduciary duty to reduce the risk of liability for wrongful dismissal and employment practices.

HR Consulting Time

After having received a Baseline HR Review, or independently identifying their own HR needs, charities may wish to engage a HR professional from CCCC to action plan against some or all of these priorities.

HR Consulting Time can be spent creating HR policies and procedures, writing job descriptions or whatever HR related activities your charity may need help with, that fall within the scope of these services.

Benefits of CCCC’s outsourced HR service

  • Make better hiring decisions – Spend less time managing poor performance and keep your ministry moving forward by letting CCCC give you the right tools to find your next star performer.
  • Support for your leaders – We have the HR expertise to help your leadership team work through strategic and operational HR issues.  Whether it’s reviewing your charity’s performance review process or developing an HR strategy, we’re here to help.
  • Become more proactive – CCCC’s HR review will allow you to prioritize which HR initiatives to focus on so that you can stop putting out fires and get back to doing what your charity does best.
  • Save time – Stop scouring the internet looking for templates and sample policies and let CCCC’s outsourced HR service create policies and guidelines that make sense for your ministry.
  • Spend less money – Let CCCC provide you with on-demand HR expertise and support, and only pay for what you need.
  • Breathe easier – Having professional HR assistance will help your board have more confidence about its fiduciary duty and reduce the risk of liability for wrongful practices.
  • We get it –The employment relationship in Christian ministry looks different than in the corporate world.  We offer HR solutions and best practices tailored specifically for Christian workplaces.

 Want to learn more?

Please contact us at 519-669-5137 or chris.hall@cccc.org if you have questions or would like to discuss the HR needs of your charity.  This program was developed based on input from members like you, and it is our hope that many charities will benefit from it greatly.  Please also feel free to leave your thoughts or comments below.

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