Recruiting the best talent for your nonprofit is a critical piece of any successful talent management strategy. For many nonprofits, recruitment activities are limited to placing ads, sifting through resumes, interviewing and ultimately, hiring and hoping for the best. But in order to maximize the likelihood of making the right hire, your nonprofit should invest time to develop a sound recruitment plan designed to attract qualified candidates, effectively assess them for skill and fit, and ensure they are the right hire at the right time.

Strategies do not have to be overly complex or sophisticated, but they should be well thought out and follow a consistent approach each time a vacancy is to be filled or a new position is created. Here are four things your recruitment strategy could be missing:

A strong employee value proposition

Have you defined your organization’s employee value proposition (EVP)? An EVP is a statement that defines the value, rewards, and benefits your employees enjoy. Effective EVPs are simple, focused statements that encapsulate why someone would want to work with your organization. Putting this statement together helps you solidify your employer brand and entice potential applicants—in fact, the Corporate Leadership Council found that a well-executed EVP can improve the commitment of new hires by 29 percent and increases the likelihood of employee advocacy by 23 percent.

To create an EVP, compile data from employee engagement, onboarding and exit surveys. Identify key trends from among these three types of interactions. This may include information on benefits your employees value, elements of the workplace culture that help them succeed or simply why they enjoy working for your organization. Based on these insights, craft an EVP statement to help guide your hiring strategy.

Strategic sourcing

Are you simply placing an ad on Idealist and hoping for the best? Or are you targeting candidates on industry-specific or function-specific career sites? Strategically and proactively sourcing a talent pool for your organization’s open and future positions is paramount to the success of building a robust talent pipeline.

Review the data you’ve received from hiring sources to determine where you’re finding the best applicants. Look at the resumes of current high-performing employees to determine their backgrounds, and think back to where you found them to streamline which sources you use. Consider appropriate feeder roles for the position you’re looking to fill, and tap passive candidates currently in those roles on LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media sites.

A candidate-driven focus

A strong candidate experience can make the difference between a failing recruitment strategy and one that results in great hires. In order to stay competitive, your organization needs to think about what applicants want, what will attract them and encourage loyalty to your brand, what will turn them off, and what will make the difference between choosing your organization and working with your competitors.

In order to maintain this focus, keep in regular contact with applicants. Get feedback from those who have gone through the application process and gather information on how they found your organization, what they thought of the application process and what they believe you could do better. Use that information to strengthen your recruitment process and build a stronger candidate experience.

Alignment with your culture

Revisit your vision for your workplace culture. Do you value above all creating a tight-knit group of employees who know each other well? Are you striving to create an environment where work-life balance is prioritized? What defines your culture? Does what your organization advocate in the community consistent with its internal practices?

The best way to build a strong culture is to what is helping and what is hurting individual and organizational effectiveness. Once you know that, build on those elements of your culture that are working and root out the things that aren’t. Being clear about your nonprofit’s culture will help you to sell your organization more effectively to prospective employees. Engage your current staff to serve as brand ambassadors by having a strong and effective employee referral program. Getting your staff to promote your nonprofit as a great place to work is one of the strongest assets you have at your disposal. Current employees who are loyal to your organization’s employment brand can speak volumes (in a good way) about what it’s like to work there and bring both authenticity and credibility to your organization’s recruitment efforts.

If your nonprofit could use the help of one of our nonprofit talent experts, contact us today for more information.