Top Ten Nonprofit Recruiting Tips & Best Practices for Non-profit Recruiting Firms Hiring Nonprofit Staff

Having the best recruiting techniques is crucial for non-profit recruiting firms because the digital age is so competitive. The Society for Human Resource Management claims that about 60 percent of all human resource professionals in the next decade will find that recruiting and retaining will be the biggest challenges. Therefore, it’s crucial to get ahead of the game if you’re in the nonprofit sector.


Top 10 Recruiting Tips for the Nonprofit Sector

Before hiring an executive search firm that helps nonprofit organizations, it’s crucial to understand these 10 recruiting tips:

1. Nonprofit Organizations Must Watch the Title

It’s never a good thing to recruit for a job that doesn’t reflect the salary range. If you know you can’t pay a Chief Development Officer what they are worth, don’t use that title in the executive search. You won’t get better talent; you’ll simply find what you can’t afford, and they won’t match your needs.

In fact, recruiting for a job that you can’t pay for will cause excellent talent to shift away from you. Likewise, you may even find that they tell others that you’re offering positions you can’t afford, which will hurt you in the long run.

There are countless jobs open right now, and companies are making that mistake. A high title won’t mean that job seekers magically show up and want to work for less. Instead, it’s wise to hire an executive search firm that has the industry expertise to know how to find nonprofit leaders, such as an executive director.

2. Find Your Passion

You want to connect and network with people who passionately choose to help with your mission. Most talented staff will continue working in a challenging position because they love the people. You have to show candidates that the organization cares for its candidates.

Staffing agencies aren’t equipped to handle that, which is why an executive search firm is the best choice possible. It will help with the hiring process and can even offer temporary services or a direct hire option as needed.

3. Be Proactive and Spread the Word about the Nonprofit Executive Search

It’s crucial to be proactive as a recruiter. If you’re emailing candidates who want new opportunities or following up with those who apply for the job, you’ve limited yourself. The secret to recruiting is using tools and networking the traditional way. The best executive search firm knows this!

4. Write a Compelling Job Description

When you source, you need the right approach for talent acquisition. Most of these companies don’t have a human resources department, so they hire an executive search firm to assist.

The nonprofit organization’s job is to explain its amazing team, provide job descriptions that focus on the tasks they’ll do, and what major gifts they offer to those they help. Be excited during the job description phase so that the candidate is, as well.

5. Interview Qualified Candidates Effectively

Qualified Candidates

Though the company itself will interview everyone to find the right candidate, the executive search firm must understand what’s necessary and evaluate the potential candidates. Whether it’s an executive director or someone for a direct-hire, the top talent wants to be considered for a job they will excel at, and you have to paint that picture for them.

6. Show Value for the Career Opportunity

Candidates often want more compensation or a better team and environment. Likewise, they might leave to grow in their careers. Therefore, you must show them why you’re the top choice for nonprofits. Whether it’s a temp-to-hire or direct-hire situation, offer candidates the value of the opportunity. If it doesn’t match where they are currently, they won’t leave!

7. Understand How Others See Your Nonprofit Organization

The nonprofit organization must understand how talent sees it and incorporate that information to counteract negative comments or impressions. Most candidates are lost or decide to go elsewhere because of this. You want to add content that will overcome any wrong assumptions so that the hire is ready to get to work.

8. Streamline the Interviewing Process

Though the executive search firm will ensure that the candidates are suitable, the nonprofit must streamline the interview process, communicate well, and express interest in the candidates quickly.

Many nonprofits are using an interview process that takes 20 or more business days to complete for non-executive director roles, and that means they’re losing talent. Nonprofit staffing is crucial to running the organization, so it’s important to keep up with things.

9. Pay Attention to the Little Things

When interviewing candidates, watch for the little things. They will exhibit small signs that show how much they care and how knowledgeable they are. Whether it’s a direct hire or not, you need the right partner for your nonprofit organization.

Provide valuable information to them and watch what they do with it. Focus on whether they reschedule the interviews, send personable emails, or know much about the nonprofit. Consider viewing their LinkedIn profiles (all serious candidates will have one) and seeing how they present online.

10. Put the Time In

A difficult-to-fill role is a problem, and executive search can only go so far. Therefore, you should ask if the organization networked with the candidates swiftly. If you wait for people to apply through posts online, you won’t get very far. That’s why many nonprofits hire a nonprofit staffing or recruitment agency.


Final Thoughts on Nonprofit Executive Search from Nonprofit Recruiters

Nonprofit Executive Search

Nonprofit organizations are now using recruiters more than ever because that’s the new wave of the future. You need someone who takes on new clients and helps them grow and find appropriate talent. Though the tips above can help you locate people who want to work for you, it’s still wise to use a recruitment agency.

Professional recruiters work with many organizations, including nonprofits, and they will ensure that you’re doing everything correctly. Likewise, you’ll get more talent at your door without having to do the legwork yourself, which can be highly beneficial.

Overall, non-profits are everywhere, including San Francisco, Washington, DC, and New York. It’s time to choose a recruiter who can help you locate the best talent possible!

For a free consultation on your non-profit hiring strategy, contact us at or 212-971-0033.

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