Increasing applicant numbers for positions available with your nonprofit

The impact of an organization largely depends on the quality of the individuals involved in it. It is essential that your nonprofit hires the very best candidate to achieve your current goals and work toward future improvement. The men and women who involve themselves in the nonprofit world serve as the fuel that can power your mission.

When considering candidates for positions within your organization, know the best practices for your organization and follow those guidelines. This is especially important when you account for various constraints unique to the nonprofit sector.

Recruiting quality candidates
The Nonprofit Times suggested paying special attention to the details in the job advertisement you post. To ensure your listing appeals to the appropriate applicants, write an ad that provides relevant details and information about not only about the job, but also your organization. The information in a job posting should answer questions regarding typical tasks and responsibilities expected of the candidate, salary range and benefits associated with the position.

The Nonprofit Times also suggested including your logo with your posting. This can lead to a larger volume of responses from quality candidates and helps job seekers identify your organization.

Post a quality ad to boost the number of applicants for available positions. 

If your organization is seeking new board members, the Free Management Library noted the importance of deciding what skills the committee currently needs. A good way to determine what qualifications you should look for in a candidate is by evaluating the issues you may be facing. If you are struggling to reach the new generation of donors, consider hiring a younger candidate or someone with expertise in social media and marketing.

"A good way to determine what skills you should look for in a candidate is by evaluating the issues you may be facing."

The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit providing consulting services for other organizations, reported that when a charity recruits, it should consider the diversity among members of the board.

"The most effective boards are those that are able to bring together a diverse group of people that bring a range of thought and perspective," said Jeri Eckhart-Queenan, a partner at The Bridgespan Group. "Boards must think about diversity as they fill these board positions. It can't be an add-on at the end."

Create a pool of potential fits for your nonprofit
Maintaining a list of individuals who would make good board members or additions to your organization's team is a simple technique that will make future hiring efforts easier. If you meet someone who sympathizes with your mission, note his or her strengths and keep contact information on hand.

In addition, request input from current employees and board members. Take note of any recommendations even if you do not currently need someone to fulfill any roles. Having a list to reference when you do need to hire someone is a fantastic resource that can cut a great deal of time out of your search.

"Having a list to reference when you do need to hire someone is a fantastic resource that can cut a great deal of time out of your search."

Consider having an internship program available at your nonprofit. The Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania stated that internships are a great way to develop employees with experience who have already been trained within your industry, according to its white paper, "Starting and Maintaining a Quality Internship Program." If executed correctly, an internship program can provide you with a qualified candidate for any positions that may become available.

Greenlights Non Profit Success, a nonprofit organization that provides advice and guidance for charities, recommended first creating a basic plan for your program. Know how many interns you can manage, what tasks will be expected of them, how to monitor their progress and what goals you have for the internship program.

Develop a quality hiring process
Your nonprofit should regularly practice a well-thought out and high-caliber hiring process. According to an article published by The Bridgespan Group, planning and executing a predetermined hiring process is crucial for nonprofits. When developing a hiring procedure certain steps should be included. Undoubtedly your nonprofit should:

  • Discuss what skills are necessary for the position.
  • Discuss qualifications that your nonprofit finds beneficial, but not critical for a position.
  • Know your timeline.
  • Establish who will participate in the interview process.
  • Express gratitude toward applicants and those who assisted throughout interviews and recruitment.

Tailor these guidelines to meet your unique needs, but allow this list to serve as a skeleton for your hiring process. 

Keeping the best employees
After hiring someone for a position with your nonprofit, you want him or her to remain with your group. Top Nonprofits recalled the importance of a well-done job description. If candidates understand the obligations and mission of working with your charity first hand, there won't be any surprises for them or you. 

Additionally, recognize quality work among your employees. Remember it is the people who drive your cause, and they are responsible for the impact your nonprofit makes. Hiring the best candidates for the job is the foundation of your organization's success. 

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