Building Your Team: Finding the Right Talent for Your Nonprofit

Nonprofits can offer very enriching and diverse opportunities to today’s workforce. As one of the nation’s largest sector employers, nonprofits can offer employees meaningful work to improve and support some of the nation’s biggest challenges facing communities.

Nonprofits help to ensure the economic stability of the country by providing needed programs and services in communities, as well as providing a robust set of job opportunities to support an expanding workforce.

With all of the benefits nonprofits bring to today’s workers, it is important to understand how to recruit and retain workers to meet the organization’s mission.

One of the most powerful recruitment tools nonprofits offer is their mission. Many job seekers search for opportunities with mission-driven organizations where they can meet their personal and professional goals to make an impact.

Nonprofits that leverage their mission – along with benefits and incentives, employee engagement activities, professional development opportunities, and open communication – position themselves to recruit and retain quality talent. It does take time, however, to create the right workforce for your nonprofit.

Some considerations when looking to fill a vacant or new position within your nonprofit:

  • Recruit from within. Consider the current employees and whether or not a promotion is warranted for anyone. Also, ask board members and other stakeholders to recommend candidates.
  • Create a compelling job description. Write a description that accurately describes the job, organizational culture, and mission-driven activities. Have clear expectations for employees, tasks, and projects.
  • Focus on the candidate selection process. Have a formal process to assess and select the preferred candidates and evaluate references. It may also be beneficial to have current employees from different areas of the organization participate in the hiring process.

Once you have identified the right candidate, don’t drop the ball in the onboarding process. Establishing a formal onboarding process (e.g., orientation, assigning a peer mentor, office tours, etc.) helps set the employee up for success and engage the employee more fully in the organization.

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