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My recent article from “How Nonprofits Miss the Talent Mark” explains one of the most common mistakes that nonprofits make when recruiting candidates for job openings – “post and pray”. That posting shares why the “post and pray” method isn’t effective, but this post describes an effective approach.

So, you may be wondering which recruitment tools you should use when trying to find the best talent? 
Here are a few pro tips for recruiting.

  1. Start your day by reviewing new prospective candidates that have applied to the job openings you’ve posted on various job boards. But remember that while posting on job boards does tend to attract a few decent candidates here and there, it should be the tool that you rely on the least.

I know from personal experience that, with rare exception, that job boards are probably not going to get me the type of candidate who is really going to “wow” any of my clients, so as I mentioned in my previous article, I tend to only reserve about 10-15% of my time for that.

Dedicate the majority of your day (as time and priorities allow) to targeted hunting – this is without question the core of a solid talent acquisition toolbox and the most effective method for pinpointing candidates whose profiles are well-aligned to the job openings you’re seeking to fill.

I break targeted hunting down into three major areas:

  • Leveraging referrals and connecting with my network – this is probably my favorite piece of the process. I get to check in and see how my colleagues in the sector are doing and potentially help them and/or job seekers in their networks find a new opportunity with a great nonprofit. It’s a win-win all around.
  • Engaging passive candidates – only reaching out to active job seekers eliminates an entire section of possible candidates, one of whom may actually turn out to be the best fit for the role! Passive candidates are naturally more challenging to attract due to their current job security, but it makes it all the more worthwhile when you can catch their interest with the right opportunity at the right nonprofit.
  • Boolean searches – Boolean is truly the “language of the Internet”. I use this tool whenever I want to broaden my scope a bit and search multiple sources and databases at once. It’s great for engaging passive candidates and active job seekers alike.
  1. Once you’ve gathered a group of candidates that you want to call for a particular opening, the fun really begins. I always conduct a preliminary phone screening to ensure that the candidate meets the requirements, is interested in the position, aligns with my client’s mission, and has salary expectations that fall within my client’s budgeted range and afterwards, that I’m still interested in pursuing the candidate after discussing the reasons why they’ve chosen to look for a new job opportunity and other miscellaneous factors that may come into play (geographic location, possibility of telecommuting, flexible hours, etc.).

Specificity and brevity are key:

The job market is very hot for some positions, which means that candidates are busy entertaining other recruiters. This is one of several reasons to be specific about opportunities, and also brief! Tip three can be covered in less than 10 minutes, because by then, you should have already gotten a vibe for whether or not they’ll be a good prospective fit and if you can proceed with scheduling them for a more thorough in-person interview.

Now that I’ve given you an inside look into how your daily process could go, you may be thinking “Nena, this is great, but I’m extremely busy and don’t have enough time for all of this!”

Not to worry, getting to the root of what you’re searching for and identifying the best talent for mission-critical roles is important to me. In fact, it is our #1 focus and we’re happy to utilize the full spectrum of our expertise to meet your organization’s unique needs. Let’s schedule a quick discovery chat.

Email me directly at ngray@nonprofithr.com.

I look forward to connecting with you!

Nena Coleman Gray, CSP
Talent Acquisition Consultant
Nonprofit HR

Connect with Nena on LinkedIn

Check out the precursor to this blog entry. Read “How Nonprofits Miss the Talent Mark!”

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