How to Recruit When Job Candidates Have the Upper Hand

March 15, 2022 HoganTaylor


The Great Resignation hasn’t been great for not-for-profit organizations. As many for-profit businesses, particularly in traditionally low-wage industries, have raised pay and hiring incentives. Nonprofits have also suffered the lost staffers. According to a New York Times analysis of Current Population Survey data, nonprofit employment in November 2021 was 4.8% below its prepandemic level, compared to 1.5% lower in the for-profit sector.

To replace lost employees or add staff to growing operations, you’ll need to up your recruiting game.

Sell your organization

Employers have traditionally looked to job applicants to sell themselves, but the roles have shifted. These days, applicants may have multiple offers to choose from. As a result, nonprofits must learn to market to potential hires.

It’s up to the organization to make sure candidates understand just how exceptional your team’s work, the open position, and the workplace culture are. When candidates are filled in on the first projects they’ll encounter, organizational goals, they can envision themselves on the job.

You may need to widen the scope of your search. It’s no longer enough to only post on industry job boards. Leverage posting to social media and utilizing employee referrals. Consider veterans, individuals with disabilities, and formerly incarcerated people trying to rebuild their lives. (Some of these could earn you tax credits.) Also, consider looking internally for employees ready to be promoted or with high potential.

Find quality candidates

When screening and interviewing, look for passion, such as previous volunteer work in your organization’s area. Ask where else candidates are interviewing, or at least the types of organizations they’re approaching. Candidates who’re attracted by your mission and programs may be willing to accept lower pay for a job they’ll love.

To determine how serious applicants are about a role, monitor their level of engagement. How quickly do they respond to your calls, emails, or messages? Have they done their research on your organization’s successes and challenges? Are they have questions?

Keep current staffers on board

Of course, hiring is only part of the challenge — you’ll also want to keep great staff. In fact, it’s generally less expensive to retain employees than to find new candidates. Be sure to offer ways for staffers to enhance their personal and professional development. If your organization can’t raise wages, try to offer perks, such as work-from-home options or flexible schedules.

Not sure if your nonprofit can afford to hire or to incentivize current employees? Contact us for help. We can review your organization’s financial position and suggest solutions to raise revenues.

How HoganTaylor Can Help

The HoganTaylor Nonprofit team of business advisors and CPAs is comprised of former CFOs, controllers, and industry experts with extensive experience providing the guidance organizations need to lean forward again in their leadership. If you have any questions about this content, or if you would like more information about HoganTaylor’s Nonprofit practice, please contact Jack Murray, CPA, Nonprofit Practice Lead.

INFORMATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY. This content is for informational purposes only. This content does not constitute professional advice and should not be relied upon by you or any third party, including to operate or promote your business, secure financing or capital in any form, obtain any regulatory or governmental approvals, or otherwise be used in connection with procuring services or other benefits from any entity. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult with professional advisors.

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