Not for profit recruitment can be tricky. With highly specific job requirements, limited budgets and often a shortage of qualified candidates, it can be hard to know where to start. But, with the right guidance, recruiting positions for non profit organisations is by no means impossible. In fact, by following a few simple rules, you’d be surprised at how much easier it could be. So what are the key Dos and Don’ts for a Not For Profit recruiter?
1) Do your homework
Before you start searching for the perfect candidate, you need to know exactly what it is you are looking for. It sounds simple enough but you’d be surprised how many people start recruiting without a clear idea of what they actually want. Even human resources specialists fall into this trap every now and again!
Before you advertise, take some time to think about the particular skills & qualities you are looking for. From specific factors such as experience and qualifications to soft skills like stress management, interpersonal skills, teamwork and bedside manner, really think about what it is that you need. What’s non-negotiable and what’s nice-to-have but not essential? Keep in mind that for some roles in the not for profit sector, soft skills such as compassion and social skills can often be more valuable than “looks-good-on-paper” qualifications.
Top tip: Make sure you involve all relevant HR managers, line managers and departments as you write the job description. It may take a bit of patience but it will save you so much time and hassle further down the track.
2) Do think about the future
As a not for profit recruiter, you need to consider what you might need in the future as well as what you need right now. In order to find — and secure — the right candidate, you need to think about what you can offer them long term. What kind of career progression could they expect at your organisation? What are your aspirations for the organisation and how would the successful candidate fit in to that? It may not feel that important right now but it will save you time and money in future as well as help you to attract higher quality candidates today.
3) Do get proactive
Posting an advert on the internet and waiting for candidates to come to you is an easy approach to the recruitment process but it won’t get the best results. Quality candidates get snapped up, particularly in not for profit recruitment, so whilst you may get lucky and receive a few responses to your advert, you should also approach candidates who aren’t actively looking for work.
Reach out to your LinkedIn network, call previous colleagues and attend some good old fashioned networking events. Cast your net as wide as possible and don’t be afraid to approach people directly. You never know who you might find!
4) Don’t be unrealistic
It’s natural to want a highly qualified candidate with an impressive amount of experience but if the salary and duties of the role don’t warrant that, then you’re barking up the wrong tree. Pay attention to the job title and be careful how you describe the role in your advert. Over-promising might get highly qualified candidates to apply but it will be a huge waste of time if you can’t ultimately offer them what they want or need.
If securing a more experienced candidate is non-negotiable, then you need to find a way to reflect that in the salary and/or benefits package. Don’t be afraid to get creative. If you desperately need the expertise of a highly qualified candidate but can’t afford to match the salary, maybe you can explore part time or consultancy options. Or perhaps highlighting non-monetary benefits such as career progression or child-care could be enough to seal the deal.
5) Don’t rush it
Taking it slow and putting together a robust recruitment process will save you time, money & hassle in the long run. Soft skills are extremely important in non profit organisations, particularly in peoplefacing roles. So whilst a candidate might look fantastic on paper, you’ll need to meet them face to face at least once in order to assess their suitability.
Take your time to prepare your interview questions and make sure that the key requirements of the role are put to the test during the overall recruitment process. You should also ensure that all relevant personnel have a chance to meet the final shortlist of candidates. It may seem like overkill to hold two or three interviews before offering the position but it is better to make sure you have the right person than have someone start the job and then drop out because they turn out to be a bad fit.
6) Don’t be afraid to invest in specialist help
It might seem cheaper to recruit in-house but investing in specialist recruitment services could actually yield better results whilst also saving you time and money in the long term.
When it comes to recruiting for a non-profit organisation, make sure you partner with a recruiter who specialises in your field. Not for profit recruitment agencies employ expert consultants who deal with industry-specific candidates day in, day out. As specialist recruiters, being proactive is part of their job. They have an extensive network of clients and candidates and can offer expert advice on salary expectations. Moreover, they will have their own in-built recruitment process specifically designed to help you find the right candidate. In short, they do steps 1-5 day all day every day so that you don’t have to!
Recruitment can be a daunting and time consuming process but if you follow these six simple rules, you’ll be well on your way to finding the right candidate in no time. Contact us for a confidential, obligation free recruitment consultation