How to Strategize Nonprofit Recruiting & Talent Management for Non-profit Recruiters

The US is undergoing a significant shortage of workers, which impacts all industries. Therefore, non-profit recruiters have many unfilled positions to cover and are working hard to achieve these goals.

However, nonprofit organizations can’t hire just anyone. Therefore, they must approach the talent acquisition process in a new and different way, building specific strategies that they may not have required before.

This guide will help you understand the strategies you can use within the nonprofit sector. Let’s get started!

Tips for Finding and Hiring the Right Candidate for the Nonprofit Sector

Are you ready to build a nonprofit management plan to hire and retain the best prospects? Having this already in place will ensure that you and the staffing agency can quickly identify appropriate candidates. Consider these tips:

  1. Use Nonprofit Executive Search to Find a List of Talent

It’s impossible to hire talent when you don’t know where it is. The organization requires an organized and comprehensive list of talent sources. Creating a job description and posting it to various online job boards will make it easier to find the qualified candidates you need.

The list of sources should include relevant details, such as advertising costs and associated listing prices. Likewise, you might turn to a nonprofit executive search firm to help you identify a direct hire when you need one most.

You’re gathering information on how to source new hires, which involves talking to the board and staff members. They might have connections or know nonprofit recruiters at a staffing agency. 

Talent sources for a nonprofit organization might include:

  • Glassdoor and Indeed, as well as any other job boards catering to nonprofits
  • Social media channels, such as Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Staff and board members sharing job openings with their own networks
  • Staffing agencies and recruiters

Whether you’re hiring an executive director or someone else, you must know where to find them!

  1. Build a Comprehensive Onboarding Process

Onboarding is an underutilized talent management component for nonprofit recruiting. When done right, it includes more than filling out the necessary paperwork and accessing internal systems and tools.

Comprehensive onboarding offers a clearer sense of purpose, introduces the organization’s culture, and helps employees understand their roles.

Having the onboarding process in place before working with an executive search firm ensures that employees are ready to go when they’re found and hired. 

Nonprofit leaders often want to understand the goals and mission of the organization. If it’s not comprehensive, you’re establishing a weaker relationship between your nonprofit and the employee, which makes turnover more likely.

Strong onboarding means being honest and intersecting with all nonprofit aspects. Therefore, organizations should:

  • Create an overview of the job duties and how they serve the overall mission
  • Survey current employees about what they should have had when they started out
  • Seek feedback from employees and implement helpful options

You can speak with the executive director about this, but generally, you need to know how the staff felt when they came to work for you. For example, a program director might have different insights than an administrative assistant.

  1. Connect Leading Nonprofit Organizations with Talent

Clearly, an executive search firm is there to connect a nonprofit organization with the appropriate talent. Most nonprofits don’t have a human resources department, or it’s quite small.

For example, independent schools may only require temporary services periodically, but they need a search committee willing and able to help them find what they need. That’s where recruitment agencies can be handy.

  1. Build Communication Between Employees and Management

Communication Between Employees and Management

Well-funded nonprofits often struggle to provide decent salaries compared to the for-profit sector. Therefore, you have to focus on more than just the money and benefits when dealing with executive search.

An excellent way to create a good strategy is to make sure that employees and management are connected and routinely communicate with each other.

Studies indicate that an increased connection between employees and management leads to more satisfaction and lower turnover. Therefore, you might retain the candidates you’ve recruited during the hiring process.

What might that look like in practice?

  • Employees are encouraged to speak to management, having forthright and candid conversations.
  • Management should actively and regularly pursue various ways to connect with the employees. This might include quick catch-ups, meetings, and an open-door policy.
  • Social communication must be encouraged, and after-work activities can be highly beneficial. For example, happy hours at the local pub and family picnics work well.
  • Management should be leading by example. Managers should have frank conversations as needed, which might mean expressing criticism or dealing with unpleasant things.
  1. Analyze the Nonprofit’s Workplace Culture

Many times, the workplace culture will change over time. There might be more tight-knit groups that work together for a common goal. Likewise, more employees might focus on a better work-life balance than they used to.

Find out what keeps the nonprofit from performing well and being what you initially envisioned. Build on the elements that work, removing what holds you back!

  1. Be Consistent

When you search for talent, don’t continue looking at job boards that have never produced results. The same applies to recruitment agencies. You could easily overlook talent because you’re not focused on the right areas.

However, you don’t want to do the opposite and search for talent in too many places. Therefore, you should do research to find what fits your needs specifically.

  1. Focus on the Candidate

Focus on the Candidate

There’s plenty of competition when it comes to hiring talent. However, the way you manage acquisition could be the difference between mediocre and excellent. What type of work culture are candidates attracted to? Which strategies would keep them loyal to your mission? 

Conduct employee surveys to get information about the hiring process and implement what you learn.

Nonprofit Talent Acquisition and Management Are Crucial Now More than Ever

Nonprofit recruiting is now harder than ever, and most people turn to executive search. Though this is beneficial when finding an executive director for a temp-to-hire position, the nonprofit organization itself requires a talent management strategy. 

Having this in place before working with an executive search firm means that the recruits you identify will be more likely to stay with you. 

For a free consultation on your nonprofit recruiting strategy, contact us at or 212-971-0033.

Leave a Reply