According to our 2015 Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey, only 28 percent of nonprofits reported having a formal social media recruitment strategy in place. While this is an improvement from the year before, when only 8 percent had such a strategy, nonprofits are still behind the curve. In 2013, the Society for Human Resource Management reported that 77 percent of organizations as a whole used social media in their recruitment efforts.
Why have nonprofits fallen so far behind? Here are two reasons:
In our Nonprofit Employment Practices survey, we found that the median nonprofit hiring budget was only $5,500. Most of this goes towards formal recruitment activities such as job postings, leaving little behind to support hiring via social media.
And yet, social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to recruit. Your organization doesn’t need to pay for ads; you can use LinkedIn to target and source top candidates easily and at little cost other than your time. In your next budget meeting, discuss what percentage of your budget will go toward paying someone to spend time recruiting and sourcing candidates on social media. If there is budget available, also consider testing social recruiting ads, where you can target messages about open positions to people who meet very specific professional and personal criteria.
First, does your organization have a formal recruitment strategy? 74 percent of nonprofits we asked didn’t.
Before the advent of social media, recruiting could be a simple and straightforward activity for some small nonprofits. They could get away without a central strategy to guide their recruitment efforts and find candidates by simply putting their open positions up on job boards and networking with their existing contacts. Now, technology has changed the recruitment game, and even the smallest nonprofits will struggle to succeed without a recruiting strategy.
If you don’t have a recruitment strategy in place, develop one as soon as possible. and let us know if you could use our help. If you already have a set strategy, make sure there’s a place in it for social media. Think about how you can leverage social channels to communicate your nonprofit’s unique culture and attract ambitious job seekers who are leading or participating in sector conversations that are taking place online. Don’t overlook the power of your employees’ social networks for sourcing and recruiting top candidates either–their connections and recommendations can be highly valuable.
Let us know: how are you preparing to get ahead of the curve and start integrating social media into your recruitment efforts? If you need help getting up to speed, reach out. We’ve helped many nonprofits both small and large build their talent pipeline with smart social recruiting strategies and would love to help you, too.