Top Seven Strategies for Nonprofit Hiring

written by Will Gray
8 · 17 · 22

Hiring for any position is difficult. Nonprofit hiring can be even more difficult without the right tools and positioning. In the nonprofit sector, hiring poses unique challenges. Unlike corporate giants flush with resources, nonprofits often operate within tighter constraints.

Yet, this doesn’t mean nonprofits are disadvantaged in attracting talent.

In fact, many job seekers are drawn to roles that resonate with their passions, even if they offer less in terms of pay or prestige compared to big names like Amazon or Google.

Nonprofit Hiring

Developing a Strategic Hiring Plan For Nonprofit Hiring

Crafting a focused hiring strategy is key. This means setting clear goals, timelines, and regularly reviewing your approach. Utilize a detailed spreadsheet tracking job titles, descriptions, and applicant data to gauge what’s effective. Remember, job titles matter – a role titled “Donor Relationship Manager” may attract more quality applicants than a generic “Customer Service Manager.”

Action Items:

  • Define clear hiring objectives and timelines.
  • Use a tracking system for job postings and applicant data.
  • Regularly review and adjust your hiring strategy based on performance metrics.

Selling Your Mission

Your nonprofit’s mission is a powerful tool in attracting passionate individuals. Offer competitive fringe benefits to make up for what might be lacking in your compensation package compared to larger organizations. Emphasize these benefits alongside your mission to attract candidates who value purpose over paycheck.

Action Items:

  • Craft compelling job descriptions that highlight your nonprofit’s mission and values.
  • Develop a benefits package that caters to the needs and preferences of your target candidates.
  • Use storytelling in your recruitment materials to showcase the impact of your work.

Advertising Your Openings

In order to get the most from nonprofit hiring, you need to leverage platforms like Indeed, Glassdoor, and Monster for job postings. While sponsoring ads can boost visibility, a well-rounded recruiting strategy can be just as effective without significant advertising spend. Also, consider posting on local job boards or industry-specific platforms. These can yield fewer but higher-quality applicants.

Action Items:

  • Post job vacancies on popular job boards and niche sites relevant to your industry.
  • Experiment with both sponsored and non-sponsored ads to find the most cost-effective strategy.
  • Utilize local job boards and community platforms for broader outreach.

Utilizing Internal and Academic Networks

Don’t overlook the power of internal referrals. One of the most overlooked areas for nonprofit hiring is your internal network. Your current staff may have valuable industry contacts. Additionally, local colleges and universities can be a great source for entry-level or internship candidates. Platforms like Handshake allow you to post job openings directly to academic audiences.

Action Items:

  • Encourage current employees to refer qualified candidates from their professional networks.
  • Build partnerships with educational institutions for access to fresh talent.
  • Regularly attend career fairs and networking events to promote your openings.

Social Media as a Recruiting Tool

Social media is an increasingly effective tool for recruiting. Use your organization’s social media platforms to post job openings. LinkedIn and Facebook groups are also great places to advertise, as well as Instagram and YouTube. Get creative with your content to attract potential candidates.

Action Items:

  • Regularly update your social media profiles with current job openings.
  • Engage with your audience by responding to comments and messages about vacancies.
  • Create engaging content like employee testimonials or day-in-the-life videos to attract candidates.

Searching Resumes and Revisiting Previous Candidates

Regularly search through resumes posted on job boards and LinkedIn. Candidates who may not have been a fit previously could now be ideal for new openings. Also, consider revisiting past candidates who nearly made the cut or whose circumstances may have changed. Another great tool is ZipRecruiter, they allow for you

Action Items:

  • Allocate time weekly to review new resumes on job boards and LinkedIn.
  • Keep a database of past candidates for future reference.
  • Reach out to previous candidates who were strong contenders for past roles.

The Hiring Process: A Deliberate Approach

Finally, remember that quality hiring takes time. Rushing to fill a position, especially at the executive level, can lead to suboptimal outcomes. Take the necessary time to screen, interview, and select the best candidate for the role.

Action Items:

  • Develop a structured interview process that assesses both skills and cultural fit.
  • Involve various team members in the hiring process for diverse perspectives.
  • Implement a feedback system post-interviews to improve the hiring process continually.

Wrap up

Nonprofit hiring might seem daunting, but it can be an efficient and rewarding process with the right strategy and tools. Leverage the power of social media, job boards, and your own network to find the ideal candidate. Be thoughtful and deliberate in your approach, ensuring you find someone aligning with your organization’s mission and culture.

With these actionable steps, your nonprofit can navigate the hiring process more effectively, attracting candidates who are not only skilled but also passionate about your mission. By being strategic and intentional in every aspect of hiring, you’ll build a team that’s aligned with your organization’s goals and values.

Ready to transform your organization’s impact and growth? Book a consultation with Graystone Consulting today, and let’s explore tailored strategies that drive success. Plus, don’t miss out on valuable insights – sign up for ‘The Take,’ our monthly newsletter, to stay ahead in the dynamic world of strategy and marketing. Your journey toward meaningful change starts here!

Will Gray - Graystone, LLC - Consultant

Will Gray

Will Gray is the dynamic and strategic-thinking founder of Graystone, a leading consulting firm renowned for its custom-tailored business solutions. With his exceptional leadership and sales optimization skills, Will has orchestrated remarkable business growth for a broad portfolio of clients across multiple sectors. His knack for lead generation, digital marketing, and innovative sales techniques have placed Graystone at the forefront of the industry. Above all, Will's client-centric approach serves as the heart of Graystone's operations, constantly seeking to align the firm's services with clients' visions, and positioning their success as a measure of his own. His commitment to building long-lasting relationships, coupled with his relentless pursuit of client satisfaction, sets Will apart in the competitive business consulting landscape.

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