Recruiting top talent is a difficult task for any organization looking to bring on new employees.
Nonprofit recruiting can be even more difficult when you are working with a limited staffing budget.
However, as a nonprofit, you do have a unique advantage of being mission-based with a clear focus on changing the world in some way.
This is something that is a primary goal for a lot of Millennials and GenZers.
All of a sudden, you have a leg up on the competition for young talent.
Things are looking up already!
With an angle already setup for your messaging, it’s time to look at the nitty gritty work involved in nonprofit recruitment strategies:
Nonprofit Recruitment Strategies
- Treat your recruiting campaign like a sales campaign
- Outreach to targeted prospects
- Leverage your network for referrals
- Post in online communities
- Build your brand to be a magnet for talent
Treat Your Recruiting Like A Sales Campaign
Do you want to catch the attention of quality candidates?
Do you want to stand out in your communication to potential new hires?
Then don’t just ho-hum your way through a job description like everyone else. You need to change it up from the typical bulleted list of job responsibilities and “about us” paragraph.
Treat the recruiting process like a sales campaign. Because that’s exactly what you’re doing, selling this job to nonprofit job seekers so that they apply.
Talk about the “benefits” (not health benefits, but overall benefits of the experience) that this candidate will receive from their new job with your organization.
Pitch them on what makes this opportunity one that they should be excited about.
What are they going to help accomplish in this role?
How will their life improve on a daily basis by coming to work with you?
Outreach To Targeted Prospects
Are there some up-and-coming superstars that you have seen in the industry and would love to have them working with your organization?
Then reach out and talk to them about the opportunity.
Can you think of a list of criteria for your perfect candidates?
Make that list and start searching online to find them. LinkedIn’s Advanced Search is a great place to find people who match the criteria.
No doubt you and your organization have built up a solid list of contacts between existing staff, former (happy) employees, donors, board members, event attendees, email subscribers, etc.
Use that list to find people who would be aligned with your organization.
Your network already has a good idea about who you are and what makes you great, so leverage those connections to find candidates.
Talk with your alma mater as well (and have your colleagues do the same). They are most likely sending out emails frequently to soon-to-be and recent graduates about job opportunities, and they love to promote their own alumni.
Post In Online Communities
When you want to catch fish, you go where the fish are.
Find the online communities that your ideal candidates would be active in and start joining the conversation.
Build rapport with your insight and raise awareness of your organization’s brand so people recognize you as an industry leader.
Do some Googling with your inside knowledge of the nonprofit world and you’ll be able to find where the fish are swimming.
Once you’ve got some equity in your community, you can start integrating some self-promotion and get the job opportunity out there (a general rule is to go no more than 80/20 value/promotion, stick to 90/10 if you want to be careful).
Build Your Brand To Be A Magnet For Talent
This last tip won’t necessarily help you in the short run, but for the big picture, you should be building your brand and your audience on an ongoing basis so that people are naturally attracted to your organization.
Then when you need to go into recruiting mode, you have a prebuilt list of people who have already expressed interest and affinity with you and you can reach directly without doing any research or scrambling to do the rapport building needed to get people interested when a new opening comes up.