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I spend a lot of time talking with our clients about their talent acquisition strategy. Often, by the time they’ve contacted us, they have started a search, attempted to identify candidates on their own, and are wondering why they’re not getting candidates who match what they need.  The first thing I ask them is to describe their approach to talent acquisition.  What I hear is usually something like this:

  1. Create and/or edit the job description
  2. Post it on various job boards
  3. Pray for good candidates to fall in their lap (or rather their inbox)

In talent acquisition circles, we call this the ‘post and pray’ approach. This happens when organizations have a job opening, but there are limited resources and/or time dedicated for the hiring team to identify the best talent.

Nonprofit HR’s Director of Talent Acquisition, Yvonne Rivera, says that the ‘post and pray’ approach is a surefire way to meet disappointment in the hiring process.

“I have found that many clients believe that because they post their positions on a number of sites, they will magically get the most qualified people for their roles, but it is quite the contrary.  It’s all about the networking!”

I cannot agree more. Like so many other things in life, you have to put in the time to get the results you want – talent acquisition is no different.

Posting openings on job boards only accounts for about 10-15% of my recruiting efforts on any given day. The vast majority of my time is dedicated to targeted hunting in order to find top candidates–and, yes, I do mean hunting!The word itself may be a bit indelicate, but that is truly what it takes to get the job done right. Networking with our contacts in the sector, Boolean searches, leveraging referrals, engaging passive candidates – these things are part of a sound talent acquisition strategy, and are all tools in my talent acquisition toolkit that I use daily.

Here’s an example of a client I worked with recently.  This client is a community service-focused nonprofit that had an opening for a Director of HR.  Before we engaged with them, they had spent 3 months looking on their own with no success. When I asked them what they’d already tried as far as recruiting, their response pretty much amounted to ‘post and pray.’ They, like so many other nonprofits, simply didn’t have the time or the resources to do more than that. Fortunately, once we engaged, we were able to find an experienced, mission-aligned Director of HR in a fraction of the time that they’d already spent, using the tools I described above.

Nonprofit Leadership Challenge: Take a moment and really think about what’s on your plate right now. Do you have the time and the resources to find the right talent for that job opening on your own? Write down the top three qualities you’d like to see in your next hire, and let’s talk about them. We specialize in partnering with nonprofit leaders and hiring teams to identify the right talent for mission-critical roles every single day.

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

See my new blog entry, Three Talent Acquisition Tips and Several Tools!

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