Finding the Best Talent for Your Not-for-Profit in a Tight Labor Market

Hiring the right people is a crucial step for any organization. Even more so in the not-for-profit sector where budgets and resources often run a bit leaner.

We are currently in an incredibly tight labor market, one where per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach retirement age each day through the year 2037.

Job seekers have more choices and are better informed regarding prospective employers than ever before in both the for and not-for-profit sectors. However, the preferences of job seekers have shifted significantly. As shared by Aaron Hurst, author of The Purpose Economy, “We have entered into a new economic era where top employers are expected to connect people with their purpose.”

Job Seekers Want More Than Just a Job

For many employees finding a position that is the “perfect fit” is much more about impact, personal growth, and community connections. Many job seekers value work that gives them purpose, more so than large salaries, bonuses, or fringe benefits. This means mission-oriented not-for-profits are in a great position to benefit from talented individuals looking for positions that align with their interests and passions.

While much has been shared about the desire for Millennials to work for mission-oriented organizations, this trend cuts across all generations. Today’s workforce is incredibly diverse, and yet people of all ages are seeking opportunities to grow, give and make a difference in meaningful ways.

4 Tips on Finding the Right Talent

Filling key positions can still be a daunting task, especially for leaders and managers of not-for-profits who have limited time and resources. Here are a few tips for mission driven organizations to efficiently build their teams with the right talent:

  1. It’s All About Marketing: 89% of the information that a candidate uses to evaluate an organization is obtained digitally. Attract the right applicants by clearly articulating the purpose and mission of your organization on websites, job posting portals, position descriptions, social media platforms and all other marketing platforms. Consider enhancing your marketing efforts with a video testimonial from current employees that illustrates your organization’s culture, purpose-driven goals, and career growth opportunities.
  2. Design Interview Questions Around Your Role and Mission: Focus on recruiting candidates who have a unique combination of skills, experiences, and a personal passion for your organization’s mission, purpose, and culture. Seek the assistance of an experienced HR professional who can design interview questions that get to the root of a candidate’s competencies, values, and passions.
  3. Offer Compelling Rewards: Often not-for-profit organizations offer slightly lower total compensation than for-profit businesses. Focus on the key selling points for your organization. Benefits such as flexible work hours, exposure to community leaders and decision makers, assigned mentors, and other professional development opportunities such as exposure to Board of Directors can make a position very appealing to the right candidate.
  4. Select for Purpose and Passion: Select for a purpose-driven mindset, even if it means choosing to hire a candidate with less experience. While you may need to invest some time in training and coaching, the decision to hire the candidate with a passion for your organization will likely ensure a more engaged and productive employee who aspires to remain with the organization for years to come.

Yes, the job market is an applicant’s market more so than ever before, but with a focused recruiting and selection strategy that takes advantage of a mission driven organization, not-for-profits will be positioned to be very enticing career options for passionate, motivated candidates.

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