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5 Ways Nonprofits Can Attract Staff & Volunteers

All across the country, nonprofit organizations are rebuilding and reimagining their organizations as they prepare for the "new normal". Mixed into the fold, these organizations have been struggling to attract quality candidates for their positions - leaving current staff members & volunteers BURNT OUT.

When the job market is tight, it can be challenging to attract the right staff members or volunteers.

Our clients have reported this as a prominent challenge, so I wanted to share 5 ways Nonprofits Can Attract Staff (& Volunteers) In a Tight Job Market.

As the pandemic recedes and employment churn continues, nonprofit employers may struggle to find staff: priorities have been recalibrated, and remote work expands the job search immensely. Job seekers are facing a variety of opportunities from companies that can pay higher salaries and provide larger benefits packages.

Here are 5 ways nonprofit organizations can sweeten the deal for prospective candidates and volunteers:

Mobilize Your Search Team. Believe it or not, your current staff is your greatest resource when looking to fill new positions! They can articulate your vision and mission, share unique and enticing aspects of your agency culture, and generate enthusiasm for your community impact. Board members, career coaches, resume writers, and recruiters can also support your efforts to add great talent.

Highlight your Mission-Driven Culture. With more opportunities than ever before, job seekers are looking for companies that live and breathe authentic, genuine social impact: nonprofits are founded, structured, and equipped to do just that, and have been doing so for years! Have videos available to showcase your culture and impact. Invite a variety of stakeholders and consumers to engage in the interview process, who can speak to the positive change your organization makes in the world.

Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn!

Consider Transferable Skills. This tip provides an opportunity for nonprofits to secure top talent that may otherwise be overlooked. Expand your view of the job description and instead identify 3-5 top Core Competencies required for maximum performance in the role. Examples may include technology adaption and implementation, program development, or strategic thinking and decision making.

As you evaluate resumes and conduct interviews, be open to individuals who possess these core competencies, but may lack specific job or industry experience.

Hire for Culture Add and Invest in Training & Development. While interviewing candidates, look to gain a sense of whether they collectively embody the core values of your organization. This includes reviewing their past work and entrepreneurial histories, volunteer activities, references, and any other information that can give you a true sense of their core values.

Once they’re onboarded, you will engage them in a robust Training & Development program that will both deepen their culture add, and strengthen their technical skills in performing the required tasks, so you don’t need to try to find a unicorn.

Maximize What’s In Your Hand. Now is the perfect time to reassess current and future staffing needs, by reviewing agency infrastructures, systems, roles, and workflows. Explore how you steward tangible and intangible resources, and how you leverage collaborative relationships to build internal capacity.

What opportunities exist to streamline processes, break down departmental silos, and increase staff performance? How can you best position your agency towards a sustainable legacy for your community? As you embark on this explorative process, you may not need to add as many staff as you think!

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