4 Key Factors to Consider Before Hiring Nonprofit Employees

A team of volunteers and staff members are critical to the success of any nonprofit organisation. For growing organisations, bringing in new staff members allows you to evenly distribute tasks and get more work done.

While hiring people for a business is one thing, gathering manpower for a nonprofit is a whole different story — especially when you run into the following challenges:

  • Less competitive salaries and fewer benefits. Low compensation discourages potential candidates from applying for nonprofits.
  • Employee turnover is high. Working for an NPO is difficult. On top of low wages, employees are oftentimes required to work on weekends and extended hours.
  • Finding candidates who are equally as passionate about your cause. When it comes to NPOs, passion overtakes skills. But this is easier said than done. You’ll find that hiring a candidate who is truly invested in your cause is a struggle.

Now that you know the common recruitment challenges that impact NPOs, know the factor to overcome them and bring in the right people.

4 Factors to Consider When Hiring the Right Candidate for Your Nonprofit

One of the prime reasons people quit their jobs is because they don’t enjoy their work.

Consider the challenges mentioned. Your NPO isn’t likely to offer rates as high as private companies. And since you’re still a growing organization, the likelihood of rendering extra work is high.

Despite all this, NPOs offer intangible benefits. For starters, your employees are all working for a great cause. So find someone whose goals lie beyond salaries. These are the type of candidates that strive to understand your cause and add value to your mission by bringing their ideas to the table.

soft skills

So much of nonprofit work relies on building credibility and encouraging donors to connect with your mission. That said, you need people with a certain level of skill, experience, and background knowledge of your cause.

For example, NPOs hiring for wildlife organisations should hire staff that are experienced in natural resource management and are aware of the environmental issues you’re trying to address.

Skills may also be specific to a certain position. Your nonprofit could be hiring data engineers, graphic designers, and marketing managers. Before recruiting someone to the team, make sure they have the right skills to back it up.

It’s important to prioritize applicants who have experience working for nonprofits. Any form of volunteer work experience — including that of interns or full-time volunteers — is valuable for your team in the long run.

These members will help you plan better campaigns, structure your operations, and strategize the overall journey of your organization.

To build a long-lasting relationship with your new hires, you need to be transparent about their roles and responsibilities:

  • What type of work will they be doing?
  • Are you hiring a full-time or part-time employee?
  • How flexible are their schedules?
  • How much are they going to be paid?
  • Are they paid hourly? Or a fixed monthly rate?
  • Are volunteers granted insurance? What other benefits can you offer?
  • Will they receive reimbursement for travel and other miscellaneous expenses?

People quit when expectations aren’t met — forcing you to restart the whole recruitment process over again. Don’t risk wasting time and effort by managing the candidate’s expectations beforehand.

In some cases, you could be dealing with candidates transitioning from the corporate sector. Assist your candidate by helping them understand the guidelines of working for a nonprofit organization. This includes filing for tax exemptions as well as a nonprofit organisation’s standard business practices.

Connect with the right candidate today

Nonprofit organisations face a number of challenges when it comes to hiring and retaining employees. So it’s important to be strategic before adding new members to your team. Ask yourself what resources your business needs and what position will benefit your organisation the most before initiating the hiring process.


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