Hiring at Nonprofits: How to Stop Missing out on Top Talent in a Candidate-Driven Market

The last 12+ months have demonstrated significant description across virtually every job market, including the nonprofit sector. Many nonprofits, struggling to keep their operations afloat amid global pandemic turbulence and economic downturns, reduced their workforce. Others maintained existing staff but were unable to bring in additional resources during the market upheavals. As a result, most nonprofits across multiple mission verticals assumed a “do more with less” mentality as they waited out a prolonged stretch of hiring uncertainty. 

Staffing Industry Data Shows Hiring Trends Are on the Upswing

Recent statistics suggest that the hiring waiting game may finally be over. Data released in The Palmer Forecast predicts a 45% increase in demand for temporary workers in Q2 2021 — with further signs of recovery ahead. Additionally, the U.S. The Labor Department reported that in March 2021, nonfarm payroll employees rose by 916,000, a significant increase over the original estimate of 618,000 jobs. Other industry reports predicted that staffing revenue in the U.S. will grow by 11% in 2021 to reach almost $135 billion — finally surpassing pre-pandemic levels in 2019. 

Hiring in a Candidate-Driven Market Challenges Nonprofits Competing for the Same Talent

The recent hiring shifts in the nonprofit sector make it highly likely that organizations will soon find themselves in a candidate-driven market, where talent becomes scarce, applicants have options (and exceptionally high expectations), and the overall competition becomes fierce. Knowing how to navigate through a candidate-driven hiring market can help ensure your nonprofit organization doesn’t consistently miss out on the best available talent for your company. Some tips for success in a candidate-driven market include: 

Expand Job Posting Opportunities

No matter what the job market, posting to a single job board and your company website is not enough to catch the eye of elite nonprofit applicants. The best way to find the best candidates is to post your job where they hang out online. Beyond websites and digital job boards, it’s essential to cast a wide marketing net, including listing the opportunity on any relevant social media pages and groups to ensure you’re staying on the radar of suitable applicants. No matter where you’re posting, it’s crucial to include a cohesive job description to ensure people seeing your position understand your mission, the job requirements, and whether they are a good fit.

Streamline the Application Process

Today’s candidates expect an intuitive and fast online experience — and that includes time spent filling out a digital application. Test out your application beforehand to ensure it moves along quickly and keeps candidates engaged. Also, before posting a job online, make sure there’s a workflow in place to respond to completed applications. Many nonprofit candidates will only wait a few weeks before deciding to move on to new opportunities. 

Get the Most out of Every Interview

Most people assume that the interview process is only stressful and awkward for the candidates. However, nonprofit hiring managers can also struggle to maximize ROI during the interview process. It’s important to offer an interview experience that manages applicant expectations, delivers all relevant job and company information, and shines a light on a candidate’s hard and soft skills. Revamping how you interview and who is included in the process can help effectively pinpoint the best candidates who have the right skillset and the right heart for your organization’s mission and cause. 

Move Quickly

Perhaps the biggest tip to successful hiring in a candidate-driven market? Move fast. High-performing talent is rare in a highly competitive economy — and top resources won’t stay available for long. Once you’ve identified a match, provide feedback and extend the offer as quickly as possible to keep the right applicant in your pipeline and move toward the hire.

A Nonprofit Staffing Agency Changes the Hiring Game in Any Job Economy

An experienced nonprofit recruiting firm can accelerate the hiring process for philanthropic organizations in any market and economy. However, innovative nonprofit recruiters can make a major impact when candidates are in high demand. Your chosen staffing firm will consult with you throughout the process to manage expectations for nonprofit salaries, streamline the application experience, and optimize results when interviewing applicants. 

Contact Careers In Nonprofits today to learn more about our nonprofit recruiting solutions. Don’t forget to check out our free Nonprofit Hiring Checklist. It is full of tools and resources that equip you with everything you’ll need to source, hire, and retain the right nonprofit professionals for long-term success. Click here to view it!

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