How to attract talent to your non-profit


Finding real talent in the current job market often means competing with other companies for the same candidate. But if you are running a non-profit, it can be that much harder to find the right person. With a limited budget, or perhaps even no budget at all, how do you convince a talented person to work for you? Here are some tips for attracting talent even in this case.


Appeal to real passion

The first thing to consider is that no one will really work hard for or enjoy working for a non-profit if they do not believe in it. They must have a passion for their cause as well as for the work that you want them to do. A passionate web designer who also loves puppies is going to work well for an animal shelter, for example. They will be motivated to do their work well, and will put their heart and soul into it. This is the kind of passion that you should be trying to attract. Accordingly, don’t try to appeal to candidates who might not have that passion. Emphasise the work that your organisation does in any job advertisements.


Work on the description

Now it’s time to amp up the job description that you provide. You want to make sure that it appeals to talented candidates who would be the right fit. You can talk about the company culture, and the benefits that might not be on paper, such as nights out with the group. You can highlight the effects that your work has for your cause. You can also describe exactly how the candidate will be making a difference. It’s important to really show them how they will be helping the non-profit to thrive. This will get them interested in working with you. When you read the description back, it should be exciting enough to make you want to apply for it yourself!


Spread the word

Where should you advertise your job opening? You can certainly put a listing on all of the usual job boards, but you can look further afield as well. Think about where your ideal candidate might spend their time. For example, if your non-profit deals with human rights issues, look for human rights groups on Facebook. You could post your job opening there to get it in front of as many eyes as possible. Everyone there will be interested in the cause, so you just need one of them to also have the skills that you need to get a match. You can try this with other social networks as well. LinkedIn groups are another place to look.


Headhunt for talent

Finally, if you are looking for very specific skills, you might have a better time headhunting. There are agencies who can do this for you, or you can use your own contacts. Put the word out about what you are looking for. You may find that you can discover the perfect talent at a rival organisation. See if you can tempt them across with an attractive job offer! If they are in a profit organisation, this might be easier than you think. You can offer something that a corporate entity never could: the satisfaction of making a real difference in the world and a lot of good karma. Headhunting may just be the ticket if you are finding one of your vacancies difficult to fill.

Remember, the important thing is that your employees believe in the cause. If they want to achieve your non-profit vision, then they will jump at the chance to work with you.

Emily Burgess is an avid blogger who enjoys writing about all aspects of improving a business, be it marketing, customer service or training. Emily is currently sharing some of her ideas at Course Guru – experts in the field of online education. Personally, she’s a great fan of foreign languages.

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