Hiring for Nonprofits: Create a Formal Recruitment Process… or Else!

recruitment process

In a previous article, “Hiring for Nonprofits: How to Tackle the Rising Turnover Rates” we examined the current state of the nonprofit sector in terms of employment, wages and market share of the total private sector. The results: increase, increase and increase! And as more and more nonprofits (57% to be exact) expected to create new positions this year and had no plans to eliminate or reduce hiring, we’re ecstatic to see such growth in a deserving industry.

With this; however, has come an influx in the demand to recruit… and FAST! Unfortunately, the 2016 Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey shows nonprofits are ill-equipped.

● 60% of nonprofits do not have a formal recruitment strategy

● 77% of nonprofits do not have a formal recruitment budget

Tweet This: Are you part of the 60% of nonprofits who don’t have a formal recruitment strategy? Do this instead:


Are you a non-profit struggling with recruitment strategy and budget? If so, speak with a Vector Talent Recruitment Expert. We can help!

Even more scary is 56% of nonprofits report having no plans to change their recruitment strategy. We’ll let that sink in for a second… with the nonprofit industry turnover rate steadily increasing since 2012, we’re hoping the majority of that 56% are the ones who already have a formal recruitment strategy! So what does a formal recruitment strategy entail?

Analysis of Organizational Data

To build a talent acquisition plan for your nonprofit or association you’ll need to assess existing employee analytics to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your current workforce. Ask these questions:

● What specific roles need to carry out specific tasks?

● What’s the right mix of full-time permanent, temporary, grant-funded and consultant positions we need to be successful, and how does that align with volunteers?

● What salaries, benefits, potential raises and bonuses are appropriate for the various employee statuses?

TIP: As you are creating this strategy, don’t neglect natural turnover. Many nonprofits fail to plan for future retirements or natural attrition.

Evaluation of the Intended Hiring Process

Once you’ve outline who you need to hire, for what and how much, you can build the methods and processes to do so effectively. Ask yourself:

● What experience and qualities are important to these roles and how can we identify them in applicants?

● How do applicants come to us or how do we find them? What efforts do we need to expend in candidate sourcing and recruitment marketing or do we want to rely more on employee referrals or a mix?

● What do we need to do to be fully equipped to handle the entire hiring process from sourcing, candidate screening, interviewing, selection and notification and onboarding?

TIP: Count time as an expendable resource. If you are spending hours, days or weeks interviewing, sorting through resumes and looking on databases for the right individual (and you aren’t a recruiter by trade), include those hours into your recruitment budget.

Tweet This: #Tips if you’re spending hours, days or weeks trying to find the best talent for your non-profit:


Creation of Consistency and Communication

Whatever you do, ensure the strategy is built upon consistency and communication. Recruitment takes time to get right, and the process will forever evolve as your nonprofit or association changes. Remember to:

● Take your time to build an effective plan and don’t neglect to bring in external or outsourced recruitment professionals to help.

● Don’t let technology takeover. Talent acquisition talent is a must to recruit in today’s world, but don’t let it overwhelm you. It’s not wrong to create a vendor decision-making process for your organization to fall back on.

● Recall what brought you into this position in the first place. “Bring to the recruiting process the same creativity and passion that got you into the nonprofit sector in the first place. Today’s information-saturated age makes it easy to find lots of potentially suitable candidates, but, paradoxically, it makes it even more difficult to sort through them all to find exactly the right candidate.”

TIP: Formal recruitment strategy demands consistent communication. If you don’t have the manpower or expertise within your nonprofit to do it yourself, help your future self by setting up email templates, calendaring software and autoresponders, so you can sort and select candidates easier.

Building a formal recruitment strategy can be an absolute nightmare, and the points we’ve discussed today barely scratch the surface. We hope they’ve got you thinking about the importance of having a formal recruitment strategy and some of the key considerations needed to be successful. To reiterate, you shouldn’t and you don’t have to go through building this process alone. Vector Talent Resources is a full-service talent acquisition firm that is able to help you build your very own recruitment strategy and execute portions of it or even the entire thing!

See what Vector Talent can do for you today by speaking with one of our strategic staffing experts!


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