Which Yields More Long Term Staff – Recruiting to Stateside or the World?

June 4, 2015 — Leave a comment

The Top Sending Campuses

This is part of a series on Sending

Click to read the Intro and for a list of Cru’s Top Sending Campuses (with links to each post)

I want to raise up long term college ministers who will change the world for decades to come.
So one of my lingering, pragmatic questions has been: “Which is better for raising up long term staff – recruiting to Stateside or the World?”
In the Cru world, I wondered:

Which yields more long term staff: STINT or Internships?

(STINT= is an overseas 1-2 year internship)

If our ultimate aim is to raise up long term staff, is it better for graduates to serve with us for a year or two, or for them to go overseas? Where should we invest our recruiting efforts?
Though the data is a little dated (2011), Thomas Weakley found:

The top 5 ministry experiences which influenced people to join Cru staff are (in order) –

  1. STINT
  2. Interning
  3. International Summer Missions
  4. U.S. Summer Missions
  5. Leading a small group on campus.
So STINT was more influential than Interning. International Summer Missions were more impactful than U.S. Summer Missions.
I asked Jim Rhodes, Cru’s national intern coordinator, what he has found. He has some great (and current) stats:
This past year, for Cru nationally…
  • 75% of our U.S. Interns stayed with us. This means they continued in their employment with us as either Staff, a 2nd year internship, or as Part Time Field Staff (PTFS)
    • Of the 75%:
      • 24% joined staff
      • 38% signed on for a 2nd Year of Interning
      • 6% transitioned to a part-time or Affiliate status
  • 59% of our STINTers stayed with us.  (Same meaning as above)
  • Overall … 68 % of our combined U.S. Interns and non-staff STINTers stayed with us
    • 22% of our Interns and STINTers joined staff this past year
    • 46% re-interned or went PTFS
    • 32% left our employ
So 24 % of the Interns joined staff … 19% of the STINTers joined staff.
I asked Jim: “One thing I’m trying to figure out – when it comes to raising up long term staff, is it “better” to recruit to STINT or Internship (i.e. – which one yields more staff).”
He responded:
I think recruiting to both is honestly the best answer to your question.  Transition to Staff rates are currently higher for U.S. Interns than for STINT, but my observation is that the leadership qualities of the STINTers who come on staff are higher. Both rates are well below are goals.  As a goal we are shotting to have 33% of both our STINTers and our U.S. Interns joining staff each year.  Our vision is to grow to the point where we are sending 1 out of 3 on staff … another 1 out of 3 staying with us for a 2nd year … and sending the final 1 out of 3 into the marketplace as part of 100% sent.  Currently, we are seeing 2 out of 3 stay with us each year … but we want to see one of those 2 joining staff each year and we are not quite there yet.
So the stats say Internship is higher yielding.
Historically (according to staff self reporting what motivated them to join), STINT has been more influential.
UPDATE: A few guesses as to why the disparity:
  • Things have likely changed since 2011. Maybe internships have gotten better?
  • Jim’s retention stats could be a little skewed because of the Part Time Field Staff. I just wonder if that skews the stats higher for Internships. Because I would guess very few STINT’ers transition to PTFS. Whereas for an intern staying in the same town, it’s more likely they’d do PTFS.

My take:

I would agree with Jim – people coming off of STINT are probably higher quality leaders. They’ve had to be self-starting leaders who solved complex problems in a cross-cultural context.
As a team, we want to be a sending campus. And from my research, one of the best ways to be a sending campus is to have a sending team. The surest way to have a sending team is for it to be made up of once and future STINT’ers.

What are your takeaways?


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