Advice for Religious Entrepreneurs

Hiring and HR Considerations for a Religious Startup

The task of hiring a staff of qualified employees is challenging for any startup. For religious startups, the hiring challenge is complicated by at least two additional obstacles.

Religious organizations have some challenges when it comes to hiring talented staff members.

First, religious organizations are like any other nonprofit organization in that they primarily rely on donations and contributions for revenue. As a consequence, religious organizations typically pay much less than their for-profit peers, making it difficult to attract skilled workers unless they are motivated by something other than money.

Second, certain categories of religious employees are exempt from provisions requiring employers to pay the employee share of FICA. Depending on their role and position in the organization, many workers may have to carry the full share of FICA themselves, reducing their take-home pay even further.

The rest of the employer's responsibilities are generally the same. As a religious employer, you will be required to perform typical employee reporting and withholding functions as well as compliance with federal and state employment law.

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What other differences are you aware of between traditional hiring and the hiring challenges that are unique to a religious organization? Questions, comments, tips and advice are all welcome.

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