By Marie Vrubelova
Growing demand for talent is one of the biggest challenges for the nonprofit sector, as discussed in The Leadership Deficit by Thomas Thierney. Therefore, nonprofit leaders must learn to build a solid talent foundation in order to succeed.
Here are few suggestions for recruiting talented staff and building a strong employee foundation from Building Talent Pipeline:
Take developing a strategic plan seriously
Hiring talented and skilled staff is the key in the nonprofit sector. In order to recruit the right person for each position, start thinking about the positions in strategic terms: what skills, behavior, and experience those positions require? Recruiting based on only a job description is simply not enough.
Networking, networking, networking
Nonprofit sector is basically one big family and therefore current and former employees present an excellent and fairly reliable source for leads and recommendations.
Further, when you partner up with other institutions you might be able to locate talented staff members faster and it has proved to be a more reliable hiring strategic as well.
Keep it in the family
Look into your present staff members. You might be surprised - you might have already hired the best candidate! Regular reviews, professional development, and continuous training for the current team members might be a great way to start building your own talent base.
Think outside the box
The economy is bad. We do not have enough this and that and, as stated, there are many obstacles for a nonprofit organization. It is time to get creative and get the best people for your organization. Peter Goldberg offers a great recommendation in his article With new forms of education, an alternative kind of professional development might attract just the right candidate for your organization. Fellowships and other types of internships within your organization or with your partner organization might be what will make you stand out. What is more, you will work on your sustainable talent foundation.
In the present global environment, personnel migration is one of the biggest phenomena. Take advantage of it and help your candidates to relocate their families, help them to choose the best school for their children, to buy a new house, etc. Take the time to get to know your candidate and try to be responsive.
It is imperative to realize that successful and effective recruitment is crucial for sustainability of any nonprofit organization. Consequently, as Lee Mizell suggests in her article it is important to devote enough time and resources for the hiring process. People make organizations work, so make it clear in your organization that hiring talented staff members is not the responsibility only for the human resources department.
Sites with further reading and tips for hiring talented staff members: