Navigating Nonprofit Hiring Hurdles 16 Nov 2017


The right people can make or break a nonprofit’s success. To meet your mission and make an impact, you need the right people in the right roles. However, if you’re hiring for a nonprofit, the experience is very different than if you were recruiting at a for-profit company.

Depending on the size, nonprofits face hurdles that other for-profit organizations typically don’t have to deal with. First, getting approval to hire a new position can be a complex process. With money focused on positive change, it can be difficult to shift funds toward administrative and staffing costs. Once you do get approval to hire, you typically don’t have a big budget for recruiting talent.

Nonprofit recruiters should advertise their job listings on their website and throughout social media platforms. These are all ways to reach people already interested in your mission, plus there is no cost. You may want to explore nonprofit job boards also. If you have the option, consider specialized job sites like, which notes on its website: “Idealist is all about connecting idealists — people who want to do good — with opportunities for action and collaboration.”

While you may not have a fancy applicant tracking system (ATS) in which to manage candidates, you should strive to make the application process as seamless as possible. What’s more, provide plenty of information about your mission on your job listings and career pages. Applicants seeking nonprofit work are driven by the desire to make a difference. This desire may make up for limited benefits and perhaps a lower salary than professionals might find at a similar position at a for-profit company.

Once you gather applications and run interviews, you’ll likely narrow your candidate pool. When you’ve found the person who has the skills and passion to help your nonprofit succeed, it’s important to take one additional step before finalizing the hire. Background checks for nonprofits should never be bypassed.

Depending on the nature of your nonprofit, workers may be put in numerous situations that require ethical, honest, and responsible action. Maybe they’ll be caring for vulnerable people. Maybe they’ll spend time with children or the elderly. Maybe they’ll have access to important private data or funds. There are many scenarios, but one thing is for sure: you want people that will only work in the best interest of the nonprofit while forwarding the mission.

A nonprofit background check provides peace of mind that the person you hire doesn’t have any red flags that could compromise the amazing impact you’re already making. When you work with Trusted Employees, you’ll get the information you need to make smart hiring decisions at a cost you can afford. If you have specialized needs, you can customize the components of your report and even integrate it into existing platforms and workflows.

Once the final piece of the puzzle is complete and you know the candidate has a clear background check, you can move forward with confidence in hiring the right person to support your nonprofit’s growth.