Non Profit Hiring Hero: How to Recruit Talent
Did you know that according to Peter Drucker, we only hire the right person 50% of the time?
Here are some ways to make the process of hiring much more effective and painless:
1. Define “talent” for your organization.
Talent, in this context, refers to the top 10% of the applicants, the cream of the crop. We are looking for the A+ players, and the ones who can do this job incredibly well. Remember that the what and the why do not matter if the who is simply not there.
2. Create a scorecard.
A scorecard lists all the attributes that you are looking for in an employee, for both their personality and why those attributes are needed for that position or role they are applying for. Keep in mind potential and ability , in which you want someone in the top right with both a high ability to start with and a high potential to grow. For example, Whole Whale’s scorecard includes efficient, empathetic, analytical, curious and positive. Choose attributes that align with the core values of your organization and use these in your job descriptions.
3. Craft a good job description.
Be sure to use the format that includes information about the organization, about the job, the responsibilities that come with that job, the requirements and how to apply. Crafting a good job description goes far beyond that, you have to sell the job. Many people describe the job, but do not sell it in an engaging way to attract the right potential candidates. The truth of the matter is that these candidates are applying to a multitude of jobs at once, so you are not the only one they are applying to.
Tip: Look at how other companies are framing their jobs that may be similar to yours, and take inspiration for do’s and don’t’s of your own job descriptions.
4. Post your job openings everywhere.
One of the biggest mistakes that can be made through the hiring process is that the application pool is not big enough, so you have very limited options in who you can hire. Ideally, try to get between 50-100 applicants before you start to make further decisions. Whole Whale loves to post their job openings on sites such as Idealist, Handshake, Simply Hired, Dice, and affinity job and community boards to broaden their options.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to use your networks because some of the best hires come from friends of friends.
5. Organize your applications.
Resumes can be overwhelming when they all start piling in, but luckily, there are tools online that can easily help to make that process less hectic.
Streak helps to make your Google inbox into a To-Do task advancer, which you can organize by the stages that each interviewee is in the hiring process because ultimately, the hiring process ends up being very email intensive.
You can set up extra inbound filters through asking extra questions or having the applicant put something extra in the subject line, such as “I would love to work here.” If you don’t want all the resumes to clog up your email, try Jazz (previously known as Resumator) as a central organizer. You can also put +email to separate your emails from the application process.
Canned responses can be helpful. It may seem harsh, but it is even worse to have no response at all after applying to a job. Gmail has many different options for you to create these canned responses.
Tip: Put “easter eggs” within the site to see who is paying attention. This adds a layer of inbound filtering to see who is actually paying attention to your site.
6. Start interviewing.
Know the do’s and don’t’s of what you are allowed to ask. Legally, you are not allowed to ask about race, gender, religion, marital status, age, disabilities, ethnic background, country of origin and sexual preferences. However, you should ask about whether they are authorized to work in the US, if they are over 18, or if they are able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations.
Tip: To ensure that all of your candidates are being viewed evenly, you can screen the names and photos of the potential candidate.
7. Look for passion and purpose.
It is especially important for nonprofits to find the right hires that have the passion for the organization because part of their job is being intrinsically rewarded by the work that they are doing.
Hiring the wrong person can cost you up to 15x the amount of the salary that you pay them. And, so hiring is arguably the most important decision you make regarding your organization.