3 Necessary Skills for Your Next Nonprofit Candidate Search

The next hire at your organization would ideally have it all. They would possess the best of the best when it comes to nonprofit jobs. Maybe that means they would dedicate countless hours to the cause, take every challenge that comes their way and still have time to keep up with the normal paperwork shoveled their way. But in reality, you may be forced to weigh the options when it comes to your next candidate.

So when you’re in charge, how do you choose for the best volunteer management? When one candidate looks great on paper but another has the right feel, the option isn’t easy. Ultimately, an interview process will help you decide who could help you achieve your mission in the end.

So next time you sit down with a candidate, keep these important factors in mind for the best recruitment possible.

Connection to the Mission

Maybe the candidate doesn’t have everything on your checklist that you hoped for in a volunteer or for a manager position. But sometimes the details can be worked out as long as the big picture is there. And for a nonprofit, the big picture is the mission.

So maybe your candidate doesn’t have as much experience as another, but that candidate has more of a passion for the mission. You’d be surprised at how much drive and motivation can outweigh technical skills. If the person you choose has a passion for achieving the mission, they’ll be likely to give it their all to help your organization achieve its all. Plus, you’d rather manage a volunteer who has the same passion as you do for the organization.

Ability to Adapt

You know that in the nonprofit world, anything goes. That’s why when it comes down to the wire you need somebody on your side that can not only adapt to change, but who can also take it by storm. Whether it’s a quick change in scheduling or a wrench thrown into the fundraising efforts, your volunteers and managers need to expect the unexpected.

Try asking a question to your potential candidate to see how they have quickly adapted to a change in a past position. If there’s a candidate who can demonstrate how they’ve applied their adaptability in the past, chances are that they’d make a great fit in the future.

Find the Right Fit

It could be a perfect match for your organization on paper. But sometimes it just doesn’t feel like the right fit. And there’s no point in putting somebody into your organization that won’t mesh well with the system already in place. In volunteer management, you have the power to recruit individuals who make a great fit for the organization.

Remember to keep your overall mission in mind. If you have a feeling that the person won’t aid in the success of your mission, then they might not be a fit for your organization. Likewise, a person’s instant chemistry with your nonprofit might outweigh previous experience or qualifications. Don’t be afraid to follow your gut instinct.

What are some vital skills that you have looked for when hiring for your nonprofit organization?


Lyndsey Hrabik

Lyndsey is a former editor for Nonprofit Hub and Nonprofit Hub Magazine. She now serves as a guest contributor, writing on topics such as social media, technology, marketing and starting a nonprofit.

November 21, 2012

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