Creating a Talent Acquisition Approach for Your Nonprofit

by | May 27, 2024 | CEO/Executive Directors, Guest Post | 0 comments

This guest post is from Stephanie Sparks, Director of Content Marketing & Social at Employ, Inc.

Everyone knows how important fundraising and donor retention are for your nonprofit’s success, but you might be overlooking another crucial detail: your team. As the foundation for all your nonprofit’s efforts, ensure your team is prepared for anything and well-suited to your workplace culture.

That’s where talent acquisition, your nonprofit’s strategy for attracting talented candidates into your organization to support long-term hiring goals, comes in. The stronger your talent acquisition approach, the less turnover and indecision you’ll experience, helping you cultivate a supportive and skilled team.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how your nonprofit can brainstorm, assess, and adapt your talent acquisition process to achieve your mission more effectively. As we review these tips, consider your current activities and management tools you have to facilitate any changes to talent acquisition.

1. Understand the nuances of talent acquisition.

You’ve likely heard multiple ways of referring to the process of finding candidates for your open positions, such as recruitment and talent acquisition. However, talent acquisition has several nuances you should be aware of.

Jobvite’s guide to recruitment and talent acquisition explains the key differences between these two concepts:

  • Recruitment satisfies immediate hiring needs by filling vacancies and sourcing and interviewing candidates.
  • Talent acquisition is a strategic process that supports your organization’s long-term human resources planning. It involves workforce planning, employer branding, internal mobility structuring, and growing talent pools.
  • Both recruitment and talent acquisition are part of the broader hiring process and involve assessing and engaging with candidates.

Recruitment and talent acquisition are both important facets of nonprofit hiring. However, in this guide, we’ll focus on developing a strong talent acquisition approach, so you can scale up your capacity, efficiency, and employee retention over time.

2. Use talent acquisition software.

As with most other nonprofit processes, you need the right tools to streamline talent acquisition efforts and mitigate potential issues.

However, all talent acquisition software solutions have unique capabilities that appeal to different organizations based on their preferences and budgets. No matter your organization’s particular talent acquisition needs, you can use the features Lever’s guide to candidate relationship management suggests to find the perfect fit:

Different talent acquisition technology features (as explained below)

  1. Automated messaging. You might have many candidates communicating with you simultaneously. This can be challenging to manage, especially if you don’t have dedicated talent acquisition specialists. Automated messaging allows you to automatically send messages when candidates take certain actions, such as interacting with your marketing materials or submitting an application.
  2. Custom notifications. You can also leverage automation to stay on top of important tasks, communicate with candidates, and collaborate with your team. By configuring custom notifications in your talent acquisition tool, you’ll be alerted of any pertinent updates so you can act promptly.
  3. Recruitment funnel management. Whether your candidates just applied for your job or they’re in the final interview stages, you need to keep them interested in a career at your nonprofit so they don’t take their talent elsewhere. With an applicant tracking system (ATS), you can visualize where certain candidates are in the recruitment funnel and strategically engage them at each stage.
  4. Decision-making. Data should drive every significant talent acquisition decision you make. The right talent acquisition technology will record data points that matter most for your nonprofit and compile them in user-friendly reports so you can act with confidence.
  5. Tags for talent organization. Create profiles for each applicant and label them with relevant tags in your talent acquisition software so you can easily identify which candidates have shared characteristics. For instance, you might create a label for a candidate who wasn’t the right fit but who you might consider hiring in the future.
  6. Role-matching. If you have multiple positions open, role-matching allows you to determine the candidates who best fit each role based on their resumes and your requirements. For instance, if someone applies for a grant writing position but has more experience in donor relations, role-matching technology can help you determine if that candidate should be transferred to a new job pool.

While these features are some of the most useful and popular, they’re not the only ones to look for. Determine your nonprofit’s most important software requirements by assessing your current tools, tech experience on your team, and your capacity for buying and training your team on a new tool. Then, leverage free demos to see firsthand which software matches your needs.

3. Develop your nonprofit’s employer brand.

Much like your marketing brand, your employer brand is an important contributor to your public image for recruitment and talent acquisition. Honing your employer brand allows you to draw in candidates who align with your preferences and mission, contributing to employee retention. Here are some important elements to consider when curating your employer brand:

  • Employee experience. Employee testimonials greatly strengthen your employer brand. Gather real testimonials and quotes from your team that highlight how you engage employees and provide them ample opportunities to grow.
  • Workplace values and culture. Your nonprofit has a unique advantage in establishing your values because you already have a guiding doctrine: your mission. Highlight how your workplace culture complements your mission and vice versa to give candidates a holistic view of your nonprofit.
  • Benefits. This is especially important for nonprofits who want to compete with their for-profit counterparts for candidates. Highlight unique perks to working at your nonprofit, such as paid time off and workplace giving benefits.
  • Day-to-day operations. Explain your nonprofit’s daily operations as much as you can in your job descriptions to paint a clear picture of what working at your organization looks like. Remember to include role-specific details for open positions.

Just as you would thoughtfully craft your marketing materials, take a strategic approach to organizing and planning your employer brand. As you roll out your employer brand elements, track metrics such as click-throughs and candidate satisfaction to understand what components you should adjust for maximum impact.

Now that you understand the foundational elements of a great talent acquisition strategy, it’s time to make your own. Remember, this is meant to set you up for long-term growth, so work hard, be patient, and cover all of your bases — your efforts will pay off.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Which Leadership Style are YOU?

It only takes 2-3 minutes!

Exit Icon
Leadership style - Charismatic