Now more than ever, it’s important for nonprofits to re-evaluate their recruitment and onboarding procedures—and to ensure they are just as effective in a remote setting. To attract and retain employees in today’s competitive job market, all nonprofit leaders should focus on achieving these three critical steps:

1. Understand recruiting fundamentals
2. Promote a diverse and inclusive workplace culture
3. Develop an engaging onboarding plan

Understand recruiting fundamentals

Your brand is a major contributor to your recruiting effectiveness. Good or bad, it is the first impression many potential candidates will have of your organization. When job seekers are drawn to your employer brand, with factors including management style and moral and core values, you’ll spend less on recruitment and hiring costs and attract higher-caliber candidates.

An increasingly popular interview best practice is hosting virtual interviews. The great thing about virtual interviews is you can really expand your candidate search if people are willing to relocate. Plus, the impact is even greater if you can make the job remote. To ensure your virtual interview process is as seamless as possible, provide clear instructions for how to log in, and share interview timelines and general role expectations. 

Promote a diverse and inclusive workplace culture

There’s no doubt that all organizations can benefit from the varied contributions of experiences, perspectives, skills, talents, and values of a diverse workforce. Diversity and inclusiveness are also key to employee retention. Even if you’ve been trying to diversify your staff for a while, if the leaders you recruit and retain are part of the dominant social group, then you can expect to continue running into diversity barriers. 

To build out an inclusive workforce, it matters where you seek candidates, what you prioritize in your ads and screening process, and what happens after the interviews. To avoid the same traps, work on these essential areas for improvement: Be honest about your current culture. Look for culture add instead of culture fit. “Culture add” requires asking: “What can a candidate bring to the table that will add to organizational culture and help continue to move the needle in the right direction?”

Develop impactful onboarding plans

Your onboarding plan needs to meet state and federal paperwork requirements, but more importantly, it needs to create buy-in for your mission and the new hire’s role within your organization. Schedule important meetings with key team members, give them a tour of their new workplace, and let them know that you are thrilled that they’re there. An engaging onboarding plan also needs to have goals and role-specific training. 

In general, it’s critical that all employees feel connected to their organization and its culture. Since this is especially true for those telecommuting, leaders have to proactively ensure that these members of the team are actively included throughout a new hire’s onboarding process. New hires should also receive consistent updates on various department goals and priority projects to help remind employees they are part of a bigger picture. Finally, employers should take the time to schedule team buildings—virtual or in-person—in order to help keep employees engaged (and give them those essential mental breaks from the day-to-day grind). 

Want to learn more?

Join me on Wednesday, October 13 for Candid’s webinar presented by UST, “Shaping the Nonprofit Experience in a Digital Age,” to discover how you can enhance your recruiting and onboarding strategies to thrive in a constantly evolving workforce landscape. Register for the webinar.

About the Author(s)

Laura Achee (she/her) Enrollment Manager UST

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