As a non-profit, recruiting can be one of the most challenging aspects of building your organisation. Unlike for-profit companies, charities can struggle to attract top talent due to limited resources, lack of visibility, and the uncertainty that comes with the sector.
Recruiting for a charity requires a unique approach that takes into account the needs and challenges of the sector. Here are some of the difficulties that charities face when it comes to recruitment:
Limited resources: Charities often have limited financial resources to invest in recruiting efforts. They may not be able to offer competitive salaries or benefits packages that larger, established for-profit organisations can provide.
Uncertainty: The future of a charity is often uncertain, which can be a major turn-off for candidates. Job security is a top priority for many people, and charities may not be able to offer the same level of stability as for-profit companies.
Lack of visibility: Charities are often unknown entities, making it difficult to attract top talent. Candidates may not have heard of the charity or know how they work, which can make it harder to generate interest in open positions.
Culture fit: Charities typically have a unique culture that may not appeal to everyone. Candidates who are used to more siloed environments may not thrive in an organisation where things can be more hands on and reactive.
Despite these challenges, there are strategies that charities can employ to use these challenges to their advantage in order to attract top talent. Here are a few tips:
Be transparent: Be honest about the challenges and uncertainties that come with working for a charity. Candidates who are excited about the potential for persona growth and the opportunity to make an impact may be more willing to take on the risk. Whilst your charity may not be able to offer the same salary as a for-profit business, think about what you can offer instead. If employees are willing to share in the risk, how can they also share in the reward? How can you demonstrate the vision for expansion and the impact that they will be part of? What are the opportunities for job-growth in line with the charity’s vision for the future, and what new skills will they learn?
Be flexible: There are many very talented people who are no longer in the mainstream workforce who might possess the attributes you are looking for. Could a parent returning to work, or a recent retiree looking to do some impactful work be an option? Could a full-time role be shared between a couple of part-time staff? Or could a junior full-time role be fulfilled by someone more senior part-time? Consider what flexible options might look like for each role.
Focus on culture: Emphasise the unique culture and values of your charity. Highlight the benefits of working in a dynamic environment and showcase your team’s passion and drive. Charity roles are often diverse and multi-faceted and offer opportunities to demonstrate social responsibility. That is an important selling point to the right candidate!
Leverage your network: Use your personal and professional networks to spread the word about job openings. Tap into your existing relationships to find candidates who may be a good fit for your charity.
Advertise the growth opportunities: Charities offer plenty of opportunities for personal growth and advancement. If you are a smaller Charity you may also be able to demonstrate potential career pathways into larger organisations who are looking for candidates with charity experience. It’s important to highlight these opportunities in job postings and interviews to attract candidates who are looking for a challenge.
Recruiting for a charity can be challenging, but with the right approach, it’s possible to attract top talent who are excited about the potential of your business, are passionate, committed, and ready to help your charity succeed.