May 25, 2015
The employment process can be difficult for any company, but recruiting presents its own set of unique challenges for nonprofits.
Typically, charities are limited on resources and experience stricter time constraints. Plus, there's always more help needed than any one group can provide.
Bad hires can lower staff morale and be financially detrimental, which can be especially risky for nonprofits. Because of this, it is essential for philanthropic organizations to build a recruitment program that compensates for all of these gaps. Additionally, having a solid hiring policy in place is vital for eliminating confusion and keeping the process smooth and efficient.
Here are some tips to implement in your nonprofit:
1. Expand your hiring pool
Instead of immediately posting a job description for potential applicants, look to other, equally effective sources.
Hiring internally can be a great option for your charity. Most people are looking to grow in their position at a company, and your organization can capitalize on this. Hiring internally means the employee will already have the intrinsic qualities you're looking for - passion, integrity or whatever else you sought after in the initial hiring process - you just have to catch them up the extra responsibilities and skills required for the job.
Additionally, you'll save money on training because you won't have to teach this employee about the ins and outs of your philanthropic organization.
Outsourcing is another viable option that many nonprofits overlook, according to the Stanford Social Innovation Review. By hiring an expert to perform the work, you can guarantee quality results. Plus, this alternative provides greater flexibility and eliminates added staff-management duties.
2. Sell the job
Making the job description attractive and exciting will help expand the number of applicants and increase your chances of finding the perfect person for the job. Don't just include information about the responsibilities; sell the ideals of your organization. What causes do you support? Why would someone want to work with your charity?
People love feeling like they are helping others, and that's a unique opportunity nonprofits provide.
Additionally, Nonprofit Hub contributor Lyndsey Hrabik suggests the writer of the job description send it out to people who have never worked for the nonprofit. That way, a new perspective is gained, and charities can better determine whether or not the job outline will effectively draw in a wide variety of applicants.
Part of selling the job also involves getting the word out. Make sure you're announcing it through multiple mediums, both online and in print. Post the job description on your social media pages or website. Perhaps one of your already passionate supporters would be the perfect fit for the position, so encourage contributors to apply when they fill out an online donation form.
3. Use free and paid resources
There are a ton of free and paid websites where your nonprofit can post your job listing.
In fact, according to this resource from Whole Whale:
"Posting a job on the wrong board has the potential to waste you a lot of time looking through irrelevant applications. It’s more strategic to find that right pool for your post, to narrow down the group of possible applicants to those that fit the niche, and are better suited to and more interested in your organization"
A small selection of the sites you could publish your listing on includes:
- Net Impact
- Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Jobs Board
- Ethical Performance
- Next Billion
- Aspen Institute Network
- Nonprofit Career Match
- Just Means
- USSIF Responsible Investing
- Ethical Performance
This list is a good mix of free and paid resources. Depending on the position you're hiring for, you may find that one works better than the other. Take a look at the other postings on the site to get a feel for who might come across your job listing.
4. Know what you're looking for
Though passion for your cause is important, it's shouldn't be the sole determiner of whether or not an applicant gets the job.
Look at your nonprofit's mission, needs and future goals to develop a list of things the the new hire must have. Include this information in the job description to ensure candidates understand the necessary qualifications.