Nonprofit Hiring Toolkit

Hiring decisions are challenging, and engaging in a thorough process requires time and energy. In addition, every hiring decision contains an element of risk and ultimately requires a leap of faith. No matter how well you know your final candidate, it’s impossible to be 100 percent certain how he or she will perform in the new role. However, executing a disciplined, rigorous search process like the one outlined in this tool kit will help to mitigate the risks. This toolkit explores eight steps to the hiring process that, when done well, can lead your organization to making a great hiring decision.

Building the Recruiting Team

Identifying a team of individuals in your nonprofit organization to be part of hiring process is a crucial first step to making a great hire. The team will be your support system for helping define the position, screen resumes, interview candidates and manage the new hire's transition into his or her new role and your organization.

Writing the Job Description

A clear and comprehensive job description is key to attracting candidates who fit well with the role you’re working to fill.

Developing a Candidate Pool

Developing a strong list of candidates for a senior management position is an important step to finding the perfect person for the job. Search committee members should tap their respective networks, and the nonprofit organizations they work for should take advantage of new and traditional media to help fill the pool with potential candidates.

Processing Applications and Screening Resumes

Creating a system for reviewing applications and resumes will help you improve your chances of including the most relevant candidates in your interview pool, including uncovering some hidden gems. This piece discusses key steps and shares an assessment tool Bridgestar recruiters use when evaluating candidate resumes.

Conducting Successful Interviews

The interview is the first opportunity for the nonprofit organization and the candidate to get to know one another, so it is imperative to prepare well. Start preparing during the resume screening process by compiling a list of questions and/or issues you would like to probe with each interviewee. This article will help you get prepared, and provides sample interview questions, and questions not to ask, while interviewing candidates.

Sample Interview Questions

Sample questions to use when interviewing a candidate for your organization.

Legal and Illegal Interview Questions

The following Fair Inquiry Guidelines, established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, were established in order to provide specific protection from discrimination in hiring certain protected classes, be sure to follow them when interviewing candidates for your organization.

The Reference Check: More Than a Formality

Checking references is critical in making the final decision between top candidates. Reference checks can reveal information that not only can help you determine your top choice but also can help you better understand how the new employee might transition in to the new role and your nonprofit organization.

Extending an Offer

Reaching the point of extending an offer to your first-choice candidate is exciting. This piece provides some guidance on extending offers as well as a template for writing the offer letter.

Managing a New Employee's Transition

Making a successful hire doesn't stop at the offer letter. The process continues through the candidate's first 30 to 90 days to ensure a smooth transition into the hire's new role, and ultimately, the nonprofit organization as a whole.