People are funny. When you ask them to do a task, most actually expect to be told what is expected of them. When we ask people to volunteer for the tech team, sometimes we forget this simple little fact. It’s easy to ask someone to volunteer to run camera every few weeks, but what does that actually mean for them? Or if someone wants to become an FOH engineer, how does that work? While you could explain it to each person each time, I find it’s more efficient to have a set of position descriptions.
Based on the volume of e-mail and tweets I get asking for copies of my position descriptions, I suspect that many are making this harder than it is. We have to keep things in perspective; writing a position description for a camera op is not the same as writing a job description for an associate TD. So don’t make it the same. I take a more minimalist approach, and perhaps an obvious one; I write down what I expect the typical camera op to do. Crazy, right?
I try to keep my position descriptions to one page or less, because for most jobs on the tech team, that’s all it requires. I include the basics of what the person will be doing (operate camera, follow director’s…directions, maintain attention), and when they will be doing it (arrive at 8:00 AM, leave at 12:15). We also include some qualifications, and a standard “physical demands” section to keep HR happy.
I’ve found this is pretty effective in establishing the expectations of the job, which makes it easy to keep people accountable. It also has the added benefit of helping leadership understand what we do in the booth every week. Recruiting and training (not to mention retaining) tech volunteers is not the same as doing the same for greeters, and it’s helpful for everyone to know exactly what we need.
In the interest of community, I’m posting a zip file with all my current tech volunteer position descriptions here for you to look at. I did a little design work in Pages to make it look good, as well as consistent. Some of these need to be updated as I look over them now, but that’s the beauty of a document like this; you can always update it as the needs change. Just be sure everyone knows about the changes and what is expected of them.
As a bonus, I’m also throwing in my audio training flow. It’s a lot more advanced than what I’ve done at other churches, but we have a much more complex system and significantly higher expectations than I’ve had at other places as well. The good news is that it is working; I have two “students” who have been in the program for about 9 months and they are now beginning to mix, and they’re doing a great job.
I hope these documents will prove to be a springboard for you as you further develop your tech arts ministry.