The Great Resignation has hit not-for-profit organizations hard, and recruiting NFP staff will most likely require you to up your recruiting game. As many for-profit businesses have raised pay and hiring incentives to hire new staff, nonprofits have lost staff. According to a New York Times analysis of Current Population Survey data, nonprofit employment in November 2021 was 4.8% below its pre-pandemic level, compared to 1.5% lower in the for-profit sector. Here are some suggestions to help your recruiting efforts:
Sell your organization
Employers have traditionally looked to job applicants to sell themselves, but the roles have flipped. These days, applicants may have multiple offers to choose from, so nonprofits must learn to market their organizations to potential hires.
It’s up to you to make candidates understand just how exceptional your team’s work, the specific position and your workplace’s culture are. Fill them in on the first projects they’ll encounter, as well as your organization’s goals, so they can envision themselves on the job.
You may need to expand your usual search channels. It’s not enough to post on industry job boards. Leverage social media and employee referrals. Consider veterans, individuals with disabilities, and formerly incarcerated people who are trying to rebuild their lives. (Some of these may earn you tax credits.) And look internally for employees ready for promotion or with high potential.
Find quality candidates
When screening and interviewing, look for evidence of passion, such as previous volunteer work in your organization’s area. Ask where else candidates are interviewing, or at least the types of organizations they’re approaching. Candidates who’re attracted by your mission and programs may be willing to accept lower pay for a job they’ll love.
To determine how serious applicants are about a position, monitor their level of engagement. How quickly do they respond to your emails, calls, or messages? Have they done their homework on your organization’s successes and challenges? Do they have questions for you? You’re generally better off finding a committed cultural match and cultivating the necessary skills than vice versa.
Keep current staffers on board
Of course, hiring is only part of the battle — you’ll also want to keep great staff on board. In fact, it’s generally less expensive to retain employees than to find new ones. Be sure to offer ways for staffers to enhance their personal and professional development. And if you can’t raise wages, try to offer perks, such as flexible schedules or work-from-home options.
Contact us for help in determining the financial impact on your organization of hiring additional staff or incentivizing current staff to stay on board.