How to Hire Great Funeral Home Employees


Think you know what works when hiring a new employee? Experts say: think again. Most funeral home owners and managers skimp on time and energy needed to find the best candidates for a job.

Now, I may not own a funeral home, but I am an established business owner. With nearly 100 employees, there’s one area I’ve had to gain a lot of experience in, and it’s hiring great people.

So how is it done? Here are a few of my helpful hints:

Expect Some Amount of Deception

The first thing you have to decide is if you’re going to trust your gut or if you’re going to follow tried-and-true hiring practices. As much as you might want give potential employees the benefit of the doubt, the unfortunate truth is that 53% of all job applicants stretch the truth, or even lie on their résumés (Society of Human Resource Management.) And to top it off – over 70% of all college students say they would lie to get a job.

Here are some of the most common things applicants lie about:

• Fake salary claims

• Enhanced achievements

• Exaggerated language abilities

• Adjusted dates to hide employment gaps

• Listing higher qualifications than existed from previous job

• Claiming credit for a group project

• Fake university degrees

It’s important to know how to weed out those who are under qualified, and how to spot those who may be including information that isn’t truthful. It may be as simple as contacting prospective employees’ references, or going so far as to run a rigorous background check. Either way, you can’t assume your applicants are telling the truth 100% of the time.

Recruit “Rock Stars” Only

By hiring only the best of the best for every position, your odds of success (and not having to waste time micro-managing) go way up. You probably don’t have a cushion of extra time or resources so it’s essential that every employee be an extremely capable “rock star” at what he or she does and be well coordinated with the rest of your funeral home’s activities. But how can you tell if a potential hire is an up-and-coming Jimi Hendrix, or a deceptive Milli Vanilli? It’s pretty easy, really:

Rock stars are passionate about their work. They live and breathe the job, always thinking about ways to improve their performance. They draw on their own strengths to establish themselves in their position – whatever it may be. For example, if you’re hiring a new funeral director, make sure they’re passionate about helping families during their time of need. If it’s a secretary you’re looking for, make sure they have a knack for organization and can speak to your families with empathy and respect.

For Behavioral Traits You Want Look to the Rocks Stars You’ve Already Hired

Make sure your new hire demonstrates behavioral characteristics that you believe are necessary for them to both shine in their position and mesh well with your funeral home’s existing culture. If you need to make a list of the traits you want in a new hire, turn to those shining stars you’ve got working for you right now. Write down the best qualities shared by the funeral home employees you most value, and keep that list in mind during interviews.

Be Persistent – and Don’t Settle for Less than You Want

Great candidates are out there, but it might take time and energy to find them. You may need to make contact with 100 people in order to find 10 solid prospects to narrow to a pool of 3 great matches. This might be an exaggeration, but the point is that finding the right person is usually a matter of persistence. Don’t stop looking if you’re having trouble finding the right fit, just keep looking.

Offer the Right Salary and Perks

You want to hire the best of the best, right? Then you’ve got to offer them a competitive salary. But how can you know what that is? Check out and, which even adjust for geographical inequalities in pay. And don’t ignore the power of benefits to affect a great candidate’s decision to join your company. In small companies, benefits send important signals about culture and stability.

Also, make sure your funeral firm is an enjoyable place to work by creating a positive work atmosphere. Here at funeralOne, we believe in a work-hard, play-hard kind of culture. We hold regular company outings, team lunches, and have a little fun when appropriate (we have a Ping Pong table & encourage employees to take a break)!

Make them Audition

You don’t want to hire someone, then find that they’re not the right fit and be forced to return to the hiring process to find a replacement. Sometimes it’s best to work with a potential funeral home employee on a contract basis before offering a full-time, permanent position. This gives you time to see if they can really shine in their role.

These practices have brought me great success in finding a rock star team of employees, and they’ll work for you too!

What are some other tips you have for hiring new funeral home employees at your firm? Please share your comments below!

Joe Joachim


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  2. Darryl hinton

    This is so true I use to work for a Funeral Home from 2012-2013 I loved it learned alot… It’s something I loved doing and still do just looking for some funeral homes to apply to in the New Haven CT area! It’s hard when you have these picky funeral directors ijs I’m only 28yrs old and I love doing what I do no I’m not a funeral director but have done mostly everything besides… If this is something you can help me with I’m all for it thanks

  3. henry white

    I have retired from the funeral business and i have found that some new hires are just not quoet the right
    caliber of personell for the Funeral business.I have seen Funeral Directors take a family in the arrangement office and come out with a family that really has the up most respect for him because he showed them all the Professional courtsey that they were very much intiteled to and he didm’t try to over sale them on the casket but he took the proper time to work with them and assist them with staying with in their finicial means
    The more your personel go a little out of their way to be courteous to that family at their time of loss the better they will remember and also pass the word to their friends and thats what can make a Funeral Home or break it in the near future.All employess must that the family is spending funds their with your firm and that has a lot to do with them getting a PAY CHECK in the future.It does cost anything to be nice but it sure pays a lot in the long run.