Hiring and Retaining the Best Nonprofit Talent

Two women sitting across from each other at a desk. Scion Nonprofit Talent.

Hiring and Retaining the Best Nonprofit Talent

You’ve created and started a meaningful nonprofit organization, and it’s running smoothly. Now, you are ready to expand your organization’s capabilities and hire someone for your team, but you aren’t sure where to start with the hiring process or perhaps you can’t seem to find the right talent for the job. In a today’s candidate market, nonprofit organizations have to continually evolve and put their best foot forward when attracting and retaining the best nonprofit talent. For the best tips to find the best talent, we invite you to read more below.

Clarify Your Mission and Values

When looking for exceptional nonprofit talent, it’s imperative to write a clear mission statement to attract talent that agree and are passionate about your organization and what it stands for. Along with your mission statement, you can write out your values and include them on your website and in job descriptions to showcase the foundational values of your nonprofit organization. Clarifying these details will help you know what you’re looking for in candidates and it will also help job seekers decide if they want to work with your company. If your mission and values aren’t easy to understand, a candidate may not apply to your job. Clarifying and showcasing your mission and values, as well as the culture of your nonprofit workplace, can give candidates the opportunity to apply for your position if they see that your mission and values align with theirs.

Ask for Referrals

One of the best talent acquisition strategies is to start with your current employees. Share your opening with your employees to cast your net wide! You can ask employees to refer their friends or others in their network that have the skills and passion to match the role you are recruiting for. Gathering referrals from trusted sources such as your employees can be an excellent way to speed up the hiring process, especially if you don’t get many applications from public job boards. When asking for referrals, keep in mind that depending on your nonprofit setup, you might not be able to offer a referral bonus like a traditional company. However, you can still encourage people to refer their friends to help with nonprofit recruitment.

Focus on Diversity

One of the biggest keys to growth for the nonprofit sector is the continuing emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. DEI, as it is referred to, can be one of the most crucial aspects of hiring and retaining the best nonprofit talent. When recruiting for qualified candidates, nonprofit leaders look through a vast pool of candidates and can often miss out on hiring diverse candidates due to a number of reasons. Making sure your job descriptions include inclusive and equitable language, searching diligently for more diverse candidates, and utilizing specialized nonprofit recruiters who can locate diverse candidates are all ways to make sure your talent acquisition process is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

Adding diverse candidates can help improve employee morale, employee satisfaction, and overall organizational success. Change your recruitment strategies and watch your talent attraction and retainment of top nonprofit talent improve by bringing in a more diverse team!

Use Your Network

Just as your employees may have a great network for your open position, you can utilize your network to help fill nonprofit jobs. Reach out to your network via social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, send your opening to trusted friends and acquaintances, connect with other nonprofit leaders, businesses and organizations in the area, and perhaps consider contacting local colleges if the position would be a good fit for a new college graduate or an internship opportunity. Just as with referrals, anyone who applies through your network might have an advantage over others. You might know the person or know someone who trusts the applicant.

Focus on the Candidate’s Potential

When finding and retaining nonprofit talent, you may find that applicants will match all of the job qualifications. Should this come up as you search through applications, it may be helpful to focus on the matching qualities and learn more about that potential candidate throughout the vetting and interviewing process. If you don’t yet want to commit to hiring someone, a good option for your organization could be temporary nonprofit staffing. Partnering with a staffing agency can give you the opportunity to see how someone performs in the job, and within your organization.

If you feel that the candidate is a match, you can offer them permanent employment with your team. When interviewing candidates, consider asking about their willingness to learn and if they’re able to adapt to new situations, as those are signs someone could succeed even if they don’t meet all of the job requirements.

Provide Competitive Compensation and Benefits

It may be challenging to offer competitive compensation depending on various factors. Nonprofits often have limitations on how they can use their funding, often there may be a cap on employee salaries. If that is the case, it may be helpful to calculate the cost of employee turnover and if you find that offering an employee a slight raise would save money, note that. Talk to stakeholders about your findings and ask them if you can offer a raise to some of your best employees to ensure they are happy not only with their job but also with their compensation. There are multiple ways to increase employee compensation in other ways aside from a paycheck. Benefits such as healthcare, 401k, professional development opportunities, growth opportunities, flexible work options, parental leave and more are incentives for new hires as well as retaining your current employees.

Should you choose to add more benefits and perks, it is helpful to speak with your current employees before investing in any new perks to ensure you are matching their desires and needs regarding benefits. These days it is not uncommon to find options for flexible work. If you haven’t established a policy for flexible work, it could be an attraction to top nonprofit talent. Hybrid and remote work can help you attract candidates who may want or need more flexibility. Offering a hybrid or fully remote position might help you attract new employees and retain your current talent.

How Will You Attract and Retain Nonprofit Talent?

We understand that finding and retaining the best nonprofit talent in today’s market can be quite the challenge. Regardless of your mission, budget or constraints, finding the right talent for your open positions is attainable. Consider the tips provided above to help attract new nonprofit employees and keep your current team happy in their careers! As this happens, your organization will grow with high-performing employees, and you will find increasing success in the nonprofit industry.

For more nonprofit recruitment resources for temporary staffing, direct hire recruitment and retained executive nonprofit search, we invite you to contact us today. We assist nonprofit organizations with their nonprofit recruitment process, onboarding process, and finding ideal candidates to add to their nonprofit staff. If you are ready to start your search for your next nonprofit employee, please request staff from us today!