How to Write Nonprofit Job Postings that Attract the Best Talent

Nonprofit hiring managers are eager to attract the best talent for their open positions, but writing a great job description is no easy task. Some of the biggest mistakes managers make are writing ads that are too lengthy, not connecting with the right job seekers, and not clearly outlining the qualities they are looking for in their candidates. As a result, managers suddenly find themselves in a vicious hiring cycle; the applicant pool is filled with candidates who aren’t a fit for the job, which then leads to more time and effort spent in the interview process weeding through applicants who could have been filtered out earlier.

To attract great hires, you have to write effective nonprofit job posts. These posts should include a clear description of the company and its mission as well as an accurate layout of the job and the duties it entails.

If you want to know how to write an effective nonprofit job description, follow these 7 steps listed below.

  • Brainstorm the qualities you want to attract

Spend time with this step before you begin to write your job description. Talk to other employees, the person currently holding the position, and their superiors. Determine what qualities and strengths this person possesses, what tasks they oversee, and what makes an ideal candidate for this particular position. Be as accurate as you can here; if you want to attract a candidate with certain skills, attributes, and strengths, you should list them right up front. 

  • Talk about the mission

Your nonprofit’s mission is important; it is the foundation for everything your organization does. Celebrate it! Make it very clear what your nonprofit stands for, the work it accomplishes, and how its employees help further that mission. You want to attract people who share the same focus and are eager to support the mission. It’s often helpful to include photos or even videos of the work your nonprofit does so job applicants can have a visual and better understand what they are applying for. 

  • Be real, transparent, and honest

Let nonprofit professionals know exactly what to expect with the organization, the role, and the work. If you are upfront about expectations and job descriptions, you can weed out anyone who might not be able to step smoothly into that open position. Let people know about daily tasks, growth opportunities, travel expectations, salary and benefits, and whatever else their job entails. 

  • Talk about inclusion, diversity, mental health, and wellness benefits

This is such an important aspect of today’s workplace. Let job applicants know the steps your organization takes toward inclusion. Let them know about the equal access employees have to resources and opportunities, and let them know about trainings and programs that help further inclusivity. Next, let them know how your organization reflects the society we live in by celebrating and welcoming a diverse workforce. Talk about the training and programs you use to encourage diversity in the hiring process. Finally, highlight your company’s mental health and wellbeing offerings, whether that’s yoga at work, extended vacation time, mental health benefits, or apps that help with stress management.

  • Don’t stick to hard and fast requirements unless absolutely necessary

The best hiring managers remember that the ideal applicants for their jobs might not have the exact education and experience required on paper, but they will have the motivation, drive, and work ethic to produce results for the organization. For that reason, remember to speak to those results. Demonstrate to the applicant that you are willing to interview candidates who don’t have the exact requirements if they are able to explain how they can achieve the results you are looking for. You can also outline how the applicant is able to grow into the position by taking courses and shadowing mentors, and acquiring skills as they go. 

  • Show how easy it is to apply

One of the biggest deterrents to applying for a job is the paperwork involved. If you’ve clearly demonstrated why an applicant should be excited to work for your company, don’t scare them off with pages and pages of questions and hoops to jump through. Show how easy it is to apply, and make the process seamless and streamlined. Practice applying yourself to see how long it takes and which aspects were the most time-consuming or difficult. If you felt like stopping halfway through the application process, your potential hire might, too. 

  • Don’t recycle the same tired ad 

If you are filling a position that has been open before, do not use the same ad. Jobs change and evolve year after year, and every time someone leaves, you learn more about what qualities and strengths are needed for that job. Revise your ad to speak to this new knowledge. How has the job changed and what does the new position entail? What have you learned that can help you fill the position with someone even better? How can you make the ad more modern and up-to-date? 

Contact Careers In Nonprofits Today

Careers In Nonprofits specializes in sourcing and staffing for nonprofit organizations across the U.S. We work with our clients to develop informative, compelling job posts that attract the right talent for their positions. Contact us today to learn more — or click here to request talent for us. 

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