Missionary’s position on pay is unique

A Christian missionary charity has revealed a novel approach to recruitment – potential employees have to guarantee to pay their own way before joining the organisation.

All new recruits at Agapé – which is part of the Evangelical Alliance and has more than 27,000 full-time staff and 225,000 volunteers in 190 countries – must first prove that they can find their own funding before the organisation will take them on as an employee.

Paul Cheesman, global HR co-ordinator at Agapé, said: “Funding is just the starting point. The money needs to be pledged and, once it’s in place, they become an Agapé employee.”

The charity provides guidance on how to raise funds through a range of means including private and individual trusts, local churches, and donations from generous benefactors.

Recruits have to guarantee around £1,000 per month minimum in funding. Agapé will then provide a ‘top up’ in salary to ensure a reasonable living wage, usually a minimum of £12,000 per annum.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the recruitment process can be problematic.

“Recruitment is an ongoing issue, and the lead time can deter people from working for us,” Cheesman said.

But once they’re in, they’re in – staff turnover at the charity is less than 5%.

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