As you serve in the ERC, you will find that there are many tasks to be performed. The manager of the ERC works with the ASOC to ensure the center has enough help each day to get the work done. This section will provide information about establishing a center, who can serve in the center, and the tasks they can be assigned.
For counsel on how to help ensure the success of ERC employees, missionaries, and volunteers, refer to Orientation Lesson 10, “Building a Successful Staff.”
5.2 Professional Employment Centers
In addition to missionaries and volunteers, a professional employment resource center (PERC) has paid Church employees on staff. The distinction “professional” does not imply that volunteer centers or ward and stake employment operations are less professional in service. It simply refers to centers that operate with a select number of paid staff members and a paid center manager in addition to volunteers and service missionaries.
Extended operating hours for the PERC are to be governed by the ASOC, who understand the unique needs of area members. With the exclusion of the center closing for periodic staff training and official Church-declared holidays, all exceptions to regular operating hours must be approved by the Manager of Operations for Employment Resource Services.
For information on establishing a PERC, refer to section 11, “Establishing, Relocating, or Closing an ERC.”
5.3 Volunteer Employment Centers
A volunteer employment resource center (VERC) has similar functions to a PERC, but it is staffed by local Church-service missionaries, full-time missionaries, and volunteers. A Church-service missionary is called as the center coordinator for the VERC and supervises day-to-day activities under the direction of the PERC manager. Although paid staff members and management are stationed at the professional center, they provide direction and counsel to the volunteer centers. Volunteer centers are often located in Church meetinghouses, with operating hours determined by the professional center manager and the ASOC.
When establishing office hours, the following should be considered:
- What schedule will provide adequate services for individuals coming to the center?
- What are safety issues?
- What is the availability of staff?
- What is the availability of public transportation?
Once the office hours have been established, notify Church leaders and post your office hours. For more information on establishing a VERC, refer to section 11, “Establishing, Relocating, or Closing an ERC.”
5.4 Stake Employment Operations
Locations that do not have either a PERC or a VERC may establish stake employment operations under the direction of a stake president. These units are staffed by ward and stake employment specialists, volunteers, and others called by the stake president. Area leaders may also combine the resources and volunteer power of several stakes to create multistake employment operations.
Both PERC and VERC staff can provide technical support to stakes with employment operations. “Technical support” can include helping stake leaders determine scheduled hours of operation in consideration of volunteer availability. Ideally, stake employment operations are open in the evenings. They must have at least two employment specialists or volunteers there at all times to offer assistance. PERC and VERC staff can also provide technical support by helping local Church leaders determine an ideal location for employment operations among meetinghouses within the stake or multistake boundaries. The location should have adequate space and be in close proximity to transportation routes.
The ERC can also provide technical support by training ward and stake employment specialists in ERS principles, workshops, and coaching; orienting Church leaders and specialists on the LDSJobs website; and assisting with follow-up and resource development.
ERS headquarters, local ERCs, and the Welfare Department of the Church do not provide funding for these operations. Stake employment operations are staffed, furnished, and funded entirely by the individual stake or grouping of stakes. Any equipment required to manage these operations also must be acquired with stake funds. Equipment could include computers, printers, tables, and chairs. Stakes are financially responsible for the maintenance and replacement of their equipment.
Many stakes will have no need to purchase or acquire new equipment for their employment operations. Computers and equipment from other operations in the stake, such as those used for family history work, need not be used exclusively. The stake president can determine if there are computers already available for use by stake employment operations.
5.5 Recruiting Missionaries and Volunteers
If your center requires additional help, there are a number of people who can help. Remember, service is not limited to active Church members.
The number of candidates the ERC sees in a week will determine how many Church-service missionaries are needed. Church-service missionaries serve from 4 to 32 hours per week for up to 30 months. These missionaries help with day-to-day operations. The agent stake president should be contacted if additional missionaries are needed.
The Recommendation for Part-Time Church-Service Missionary (35813) form should be used to recommend and call new missionaries.
Ward and stake employment specialists, as well as local Church leaders, are ideal volunteers for the ERC. This is a great way for leaders and specialists to learn skills and gain experience that will help them fulfill their callings.
People who are currently looking for employment could also volunteer at the center. For example, a job candidate could give presentations about the ERC to help build relationships with local resources for the center and, at the same time, develop his or her own networking skills (see section 4, “Resource Development”).
- Recipients of Church welfare assistance
Sometimes recipients of Church welfare services are assigned by their bishops to volunteer at the ERC. Make the experience as memorable and meaningful as possible for these individuals. Encourage them to participate in the Career Workshop or other services offered by the ERC where appropriate.
Missionary and Volunteer Allocation Process
Local Church-service Missionary Coordinators are called to assist you in allocating missionary assignments throughout your service area. These coordinators can be a valuable resource as you plan ahead for future missionary and volunteer needs.
A website is available to help you submit information relating to future missionary and volunteer labor needs. The website is: csm.ldschurch.org.
If you do not have access to the site or if you do not know who your CSM coordinators are, contact the CSM division by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following forms must be completed and securely retained locally for five years after the end of service for missionaries and volunteers:
Required forms for full-time missionaries, Church-service missionaries, and volunteers:
- Volunteer Disclosure Statement
- Disclosure of Possible Conflict of Interest (PD00000799)
- Confidentiality Agreement and Assignment of Work Products (04090)
- Safety Orientation Checklist (PD00004873)
- Orientation Action Items (Missionary Training Participant Workbook)
Additional form required for Church-service missionaries only:
Standardized Missionary Titles
Welfare Services has created a list of standardized titles to be used for missionaries who serve in welfare operations. The intent is to reduce confusion and to better coordinate efforts to call and assign missionaries. These titles have been communicated to the Missionary Department, Human Resources, Church-service missionary coordinators, and area welfare managers.
Employment Center Coordinator
This title is used for missionaries who manage the day- to- day operations of a volunteer or professional center. Using the “center coordinator” title eliminates confusion with the titles (and in some cases the roles) of the center manager and associate manager. It also helps maintain a clear understanding that the paid manager is the manager over the centers in the service area.
This title is used for missionaries who serve in the center. The use of this title allows for “employment specialist” to be used solely in the wards and stakes and helps eliminate confusion. Employment advisors may be given specific assignments within the center, such as workshop instructor or self-employment specialist.
Whenever possible, volunteers should be called as Church-service missionaries if they meet the general requirements and qualifications, which are found by completing the approved Recommendation for Part-Time Church-Service Missionary form. This helps ensure that volunteers are temple worthy; endorsed, called, and set apart by their local leaders; and aware of personal insurance responsibilities, expenses, and other considerations.
Specifically, volunteers should be called as Church-service missionaries if they will serve for at least six months and average at least four hours of service per week. You may find your local Church-service missionaries helpful throughout this process.
Here are some ideas of potential missionaries:
- Couples or individuals who want to serve missions away from home but who cannot because of various reasons
- Couples or individuals who have already served a mission away from home and would now like a mission assignment close to home
- Semi-retired couples or individuals
- Members whose spouses work and who have no dependent children at home
- Long-term or short-term welfare recipients who are currently unemployed
- Individuals who need to develop skills or find networking resources to enter the job market or upgrade their employment
- Members recently released from a major calling with the time and energy to provide additional service
- Parents who can serve while their children are in school
- Parents with small children who would like to volunteer during the week and who can exchange babysitting services
- Individuals who work part-time
- Students needing practical work experience
- Widows or widowers
- Sales representatives who are contacting companies in the local area and who could develop resources and job opportunities for the center while calling their customers
- Permanently or temporarily disabled individuals who can work for a few hours each week
- Parents or relatives of disabled individuals who have experience working with social services and other agencies in the community.
Missionaries and Volunteers
The following are some ideas that may be helpful in recruiting Church-service missionaries, full-time missionaries, and volunteers:
- Ensure that missionaries have a rewarding experience serving in the ERC. Often they will recruit their own replacements.
- Encourage missionaries currently serving in the ERC to share their experiences with friends and ward members, inviting them to serve. Information shared by word of mouth is an effective way to recruit missionaries.
- Ask former candidates if they would like to help in the facility.
- Inform the Agent Stake Operating Committee (ASOC) of labor needs. The agent stake president may also review these labor needs with the coordinating council.
- Advertise opportunities on the Full-Time Senior & Church-Service Missionary Opportunities website (Church-service missionary coordinators can help with this).
Your local Church-service missionary coordinators may also serve as a valuable resource. If you are unsure how to contact your local Church-service missionary coordinators, or if you need additional assistance, you may contact the Church-service missionary office by calling (801) 240-4914 or (800) 453-3860, extension 2-4914.
5.6 How Missionaries and Volunteers Can Help
The ERC is a place that provides service for job seekers and a place where members can also give service. Volunteers must be members and also have their membership record number (MRN). ERC managers should assign missionaries and volunteers tasks that are appropriate to their talents and skills. For example, there may be a volunteer or missionary who possesses excellent communication skills or has past marketing experience. Such an individual may be exceptionally qualified for developing resources at the center. Another volunteer might have excellent one-on-one coaching abilities. Listed below are just some ways missionaries and volunteers will be qualified to help people at the center:
Managers and assistant managers are responsible to handle most of the center’s resource development; however, local members who have excellent people skills and connections in the community can be very helpful with this (see section 4.4 “Resource Development,” for more information). See Orientation Lesson 3, “Resources for Job Placement, Career Development, and Small Business Management” and Orientation Lesson 9, “Resource Development.”
Both missionaries and volunteers can be job coaches for candidates. The best coaches are those who have good listening and people skills. Former bishops, Relief Society presidents, and ward or stake employment specialists often make ideal coaches.
Coaches should develop a strong knowledge of ERS and effective coaching techniques. For instruction on what constitutes effective coaching, refer to Orientation Lesson 5, “Helping Candidates: Planning.”See also Orientation Lesson 1, “Helping Those with Employment Needs,” Orientation Lesson 4, “Center Leadership and Performance,” Orientation Lesson 6, “Helping Candidates: Providing Resources,” Orientation Level 7, “Helping Candidates: Following Up,” and Orientation Level 8, “Helping Candidates: Individualized Service.”
Full-time missionaries, Church-service missionaries, and volunteers can all help teach workshops. Former seminary or institute teachers often make great workshop instructors. Stake leaders also know who some of their best teachers are.
Teaching workshops can be a good opportunity for employment specialists to learn their responsibilities and better serve members in their wards. Refer to Orientation Lesson 11, “Teaching Techniques.”
Assisting with clerical tasks
Missionaries and volunteers can also help with clerical tasks, such as welcoming visitors and answering phones (see section 2.2, “Intake and Assessment”). These volunteers should have good office skills and excellent people skills since the reception area is often a caller or visitor’s first contact with the center.
Working with Priesthood and Relief Society Leaders
Employment Resource Services exists to help Priesthood and Relief Society leaders help members to become self-reliant. For more information, refer to Orientation Lesson 2, “The Role of Priesthood and Relief Society Leaders.”
5.7 Dress and Grooming Standards
ERC staff members are expected to dress modestly and in a conservative, professional manner. Except in locations with extreme climates or in culturally-sensitive areas, the following guidelines should be followed. (See also pages 21–22 of the U.S. Human Resource Policies and Code of Business Conduct manual, found on the intranet, or the Church HR policy in your local area.)
Extreme hairstyles are not acceptable. Hair should be clean and neatly combed. Men’s hair should be above the collar. High standards of personal hygiene and cleanliness are expected. Cologne and perfumes should be used sparingly and with sensitivity to allergies of co-workers.
Extreme clothing of any kind or style should be avoided. Shoes should be in good repair and shined. Soft-sided, athletic, or similar shoes (regardless of color) should be avoided. Clothing should be clean, well-cared for, and neatly pressed. The fit and style of clothing for both men and women should be modest.
- Skirts or dresses of at least knee-length.
- Missionary sisters should wear conservative skirts and blouse/jacket combinations, dresses, and properly-fitted jumpers.
- Casual sandals or flip-flops are not acceptable.
- Pants, pantsuits, and skirts with immodest slits are not acceptable.
- Ties and suits or sport coats and dress slacks.
- White- or light-colored dress shirts.
- Missionary elders should wear suits in dark conservative colors, white shirts, and conservative ties.
- Mustaches, where worn, should be neatly trimmed and should not extend beyond the corners of the mouth.
- Casual pants are not acceptable.
- Beards and sideburns below the earlobes are not acceptable.