Updated 05/11/2020

Hiring for a nonprofit organization can sometimes pose a set of challenges different from those when looking for talent for a for-profit business. When looking to hire the best fits for your nonprofit group, you will need to look beyond the resume. Here are four signs to look for to ensure that the prospective candidate is a good talent for a nonprofit:

Appropriate Degree
There are a variety of degrees and experiences that demonstrate that a candidate will be a good fit for a nonprofit position. Areas of study that show a propensity for nonprofit work include business, public administration, social work, urban planning, and any majors related to public policy. A candidate who has a degree in one of these fields has demonstrated their desire to pursue a possible career in the nonprofit sector. Ask the candidate what drew them to these fields of study and what classes interested them to find out more about their potential in the field.

Volunteer Experience
Most people who go into nonprofit work do so because they have a passion for helping others and making a significant difference in the world around them. For this reason, many nonprofit employees have a long history of volunteer work experience. Look for candidates whose history of volunteer work is consistent. Many candidates will have volunteered their public relations or creative talents to various charities, which can also benefit your organization. Be sure to inquire about why the graduate was drawn to volunteer and what skills they developed in the process.

Work History
A hiring manager can look at a prospective employee’s work history for signs that they will be a good fit for the organization. Graduates that have pursued a career outside of their studies are attuned to the rigors that balancing work and life can present, a skill that is invaluable in any nonprofit. Look to see what industries the candidate has worked in, the size of the companies for which they have worked, and what responsibilities they have held in their previous jobs. This can be a good indication of the candidate’s interests, skills, and work ethic.

Personality Traits
A successful nonprofit employee will generally display a willingness to work, a dedication to bettering their community, and strong problem-solving abilities. When looking for new hires for your nonprofit team, be sure to pay attention to these personality traits, and make it a priority to find people who will be able to jump right into your organization and work well with your existing team. Find out if your candidate is a good fit for your organization by providing them with real-life situations to see how they would respond.

In addition to education and experience, nonprofit workers need to possess the intangible skills and attitude needed to be successful in this line of work. Not only that, but nonprofit employers need to know how to look for the right employees and not just “post and pray” when it comes to job posts.

For help with your organization’s strategic planning, fundraising and fund development, business planning, and more contact EPIC Mission today to schedule your discovery call! We will set a time to dig into your needs and determine how we might be of service, all with no obligation and no funny business. #BeTheChange