Tips For The Nonprofits Hiring Process: Finding The Right Employee

by | Jul 3, 2020

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According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, the number of nonprofits in the US increased by 4.5% from 2006 to 2016. The total now hovers around 1.5 million. While this is a good sign for charitable progress, it does create a bit of a bind for individual nonprofits. How do you find the right candidates when the pool for nonprofit work is deepening? The truth is that the nonprofits hiring process is different than any other industry.

Culture fit is of the utmost importance and competitive pay isn’t always a viable option. Fortunately, there are solutions to finding the perfect fit for your nonprofit. Read on to find out our top tips for the nonprofits hiring process.

Sort Out Your Budget First

Before you open up new positions, make sure you have a strong understanding of your nonprofit’s financial standing. Not only will this help you to set realistic expectations for compensation but it will show your candidates that your nonprofit is organized and professional.

The Charity CFO provides a number of financial services from specialized reporting for stakeholders to transaction documentation. We apply our financial expertise to your nonprofit so that you can focus on both the day-to-day and big picture goals. With our help, you and your present and future employees can maximize your ability to serve your community.

Understand What You Offer Besides Pay

Most of your candidates will understand that working in the nonprofit sector doesn’t always guarantee a massive paycheck. After all, your goal is to give as much back to your community as possible!

If you can’t offer competitive pay, take stock of any other benefits to working with your nonprofit. Perhaps you offer opportunities for professional development or room for advancement. Maybe you value the work-life balance more than most or put in extra work to create a fun and positive workplace culture.

Talk to your current employees and coworkers to find out what they enjoy most about their position. This can provide you with a bird’s eye view of what makes your nonprofit both special and appealing to any newcomers.

Go Outside the Traditional Nonprofits Hiring Pool

In previous years, most experts would have recommended that the top candidates should always have prior experience in the same field. In other words, you would have wanted candidates who had been working for a nonprofit organization for three, five, or even ten years. 

There are two problems with this method. The first is that it alienates those who are fresh to the job market and simply haven’t had the opportunity to work at a nonprofit yet. The second is that it rules out candidates who are coming from other fields—and bringing valuable expertise with them.

For example, consider a candidate with a background in retail. While the work, itself, was quite different, there are certain skills they developed in the service industry that will translate well to nonprofit work. They’re likely good with people, capable of fielding questions and finding real answers, and overall hard workers. 

In fact, you’re more likely to end up with an employee who has motivation, energy, and fresh ideas if you open up your hiring pool. Remember that you’re looking for someone who has a strong work ethic and believes in your cause. What they’ve done in the past isn’t quite as important.

Make Sure the Position Is Clear

When you’re creating your job listing, try to make the role and expectations as clear as possible. A recent LinkedIn survey uncovered what employees want most from their employers. Clear expectations and goals made the top of the list!

Most candidates are put off by job listings that focus more heavily on qualifications than the job, itself. This tends to send the message that your expectations of them get to be higher than their expectations of you. While this may seem logical, it simply doesn’t appeal to younger employees who want to feel like their role matters. 

Include a title as well as clear bullet points regarding the role. Do you expect this employee to work behind the scenes with their coworkers or out in public with the community? Are there specific projects they will work on or will they wear many hats?

The more direct and transparent your job listing is, the more candidates you’ll have to choose from.

Get in Touch With Your Top Candidates

You may have a few people in mind that would be perfect for the job. You may also receive applications from candidates who have great credentials but are likely applying to several different places.

If you want your top candidates to seriously consider your nonprofit, let them know! Send them a personalized email or give them a call. This will show them right off the bat that you will value their skills and provide them with individualized feedback if they accept the position.

Stand Out from Other Nonprofit Companies Who Are Hiring

The nonprofit sector is growing at a steady rate, making it more and more difficult to stand out from the pack. If you want to make it through the nonprofits hiring process with the best fit for the job, you’ll have to show what makes your organization different from the rest.

Let us help you boost your nonprofit by taking care of all of your accounting needs. To find out more about our services and pricing, contact us to schedule a meeting and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


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