Picture this: you are running your most successful phone-a-thon fundraiser in years. Your marketing strategy really hit home, and your phones are ringing off the hook. There’s one problem, though: you simply don’t have enough employees to manage the incoming calls.
You have tons of donors ready to give, but you lack the operational capacity to manage their generosity. What’s the end result? Missed opportunities and a decline in donor retention. Maybe this example is a little extreme, but the principle is true. Nonprofits that avoid recruiting high-value employees tend to run some serious risks.
Great employees not only help you crush your to-dos, but they also bring a fresh level of passion and commitment to your organization. In fact, 88% of millennials consider their job more fulfilling when they have opportunities to have a positive impact on society.
Kickstarting the employee recruitment process can seem daunting at first, but it helps if you break the process down into manageable steps.
What is employee recruitment?
Employee recruitment is the process of connecting with potential new employees to assess whether they’d be a good fit for an organization’s open positions. This process can take a while to perfect and will look different as your organization evolves.
Ideally, recruiting employees is a win-win for your organization. Nonprofits fill positions with capable employees and individuals find a place to work that aligns with their values and schedule. Finding these employees can be trial and error, that’s why it’s important to implement a detailed employee recruitment and review process.
What are the steps of the employee recruitment process?
An employee recruitment process can be tailored to each position and changed over time. However, it’s helpful to have a general guideline to refer back to. Let’s take a look at some defined steps:
- Set a goal. Assess which areas of your organization could use some extra management or expertise. This might be a goal for how many employees you’d like to bring on board or what roles you’re looking to fill at your organization.
- Write a comprehensive job description. Include your job requirements, preferred experience, and what a day in the life of this position would look like. Feel free to also detail what qualifications an ideal candidate would have to offer.
- Update your benefits. Take a total rewards approach to compensation, especially if you’re recruiting for nonprofit positions. This approach views employee compensation holistically, taking into account not only salary but also indirect benefits like paid time off and retirement benefits. This, in turn, leads to higher performance levels and productivity.
- Promote your open positions widely. When recruiting employees, LinkedIn is a go-to. Other online job boards and in-person recruitment fairs are great places to promote your new positions as well. To prepare for in-person networking events and fairs, carry printed promotional materials to explain your organization.
- Conduct targeted recruitment. Reach out directly to prospective employees with the right qualifications. If you’ve done some digging on LinkedIn, message a qualified potential candidate directly. Let them know why you think they’d be a good fit and offer your contact information to facilitate future communication.
Throughout this process, keep your options open by casting a wide net. You may have your heart set on a couple of candidates, but keep in mind that plans change for a variety of reasons. Your main goal should be to recruit as many qualified candidates as possible. The next section will show you how to conduct interviews that effectively filter through these candidates.
8 tips for a successful interview process
After you’ve set up interviews with potential recruits, you must ensure that your interview process is well-thought-through to find the right candidate for the job. Make sure that each candidate understands and aligns with your organization’s values, whether they involve giving back to the community, strengthening your diversity and inclusion initiatives, or being responsive to customers.
Follow these tips to hold productive interviews:
- Thank candidates for their time. Usually, high-value candidates are not on the job market for long. Thank them for devoting their time to the interview.
- Make candidates feel comfortable. Provide a brief overview of the topics you’ll cover in the interview ahead of time. This helps candidates settle in and mentally prepare.
- Ask insightful questions. Open-ended questions can give a full picture of the candidate’s professional background and personality. Consider questions like:
- Why are you interested in this position?
- What strengths would you bring to this position?
- What kind of working environment do you perform best in?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are some professional accomplishments that you are proud of?
- Give your candidates enough time to answer your questions. Pace your questions so that a candidate can answer them fully. Otherwise, your interview can feel more like a rapid-fire interrogation. If a candidate is confused by a question, rephrase it in a way they can understand.
- Leave time for your candidates to ask you questions. Candidates are interviewing you too. If a candidate has done their research about your organization, they most likely will have some questions. Leave enough time to answer their inquiries and provide your contact information if more questions come up.
- Provide an expected timeline. End your interview by providing an expectation for when you are going to reach back out to the candidate. The usual response period is between one to two weeks.
- Check references. Ask your candidates to provide a reference sheet with two to three references and their contact information. Check these references and their credentials before hiring any new candidates.
- Follow up when candidates don’t get the job. It’s helpful to provide closure for applicants and explain why you’re going in a different direction. This ensures you don’t burn any bridges.
In-depth interview processes proactively assess a candidate’s qualifications. Once you have decided on your candidates, be sure to extend them a warm welcome to your team. Keep in mind that regular employee performance reviews are also necessary to keep your team in tip-top shape. Once hired, employees expect consistent and honest feedback for their work.
How do we keep recruited team members engaged?
Recruitment takes a lot of energy and funds, so you want to ensure that the candidates you pick want to stay in the long term. Here are some tactics you can use to boost your recruitment’s ROI and keep team members engaged:
- Open communication between management and directs. The best way to make your organization feel like a team is to keep your communication channels open. Help your new employees surmount challenges in their roles and grow by scheduling one-on-one meetings between them and managers. This allows them to have regular conversations about how they can improve their work approach and feel more comfortable with their role.
- Offer upward mobility. A stagnant work structure can lead to employee burnout and disengagement from your organization. Furthermore, studies show that employees experiencing burnout are 3.4 times more likely to leave the companies and nearly 2 times more likely to feel disconnected from company culture. Instead, offer employees the opportunity to grow and take on more significant responsibilities over time.
- Embrace peer-to-peer recognition. While your employees can get positive feedback in one-on-one meetings with upper management, it’s crucial that peers have the option to recognize each other publicly to boost cohesion. For instance, you might implement a system where peers can nominate each other to be Team Member of the Month or have a corkboard where they can shout out their colleagues for outstanding work.
- Involve employees in decision-making. Employees want to know that management values their ideas. Open the floor for team members to provide suggestions about your organization’s culture or strategies. Even if you don’t accept some suggestions, it’s critical to acknowledge and appreciate team members’ feedback.
- Respect work-life balance. While your employees work for you to make a living, work should not be their entire lives. Respect work-life boundaries by clearly delineating your expectations for work hours and limiting work-related communication on the weekends.
- Empower employees to be independent. You chose your job candidates because you see potential in them to make an impact on your organization. Enable them to explore projects they’re interested in, take ownership of their assignments, and make independent decisions.
As your employee base changes over time, your engagement strategies should too. Gauge the effectiveness of your strategies as time passes by sending surveys, researching new trends, and staying open to suggestions from your employees.
- Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog
- Employee Retention: Best Practices & 7 Key Steps for 2022 – Check out these strategies to maximize your employee retention rate.
- Corporate Giving Statistics for Nonprofits & Companies – Learn more about how corporate giving impacts nonprofits and businesses through illuminating statistics.