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Pensions and HR Leadership

How to attract top charity talent in a candidate-driven market

Annie Hayes at Third Sector Jobs offers top tips on how to find top talent for charities now candidates are back in the driving seat.

Post byGuest blogger

Many charities have forfeited vital fundraising opportunities during the pandemic and as the lockdowns ease, they are looking to get the best talent on board and boost much needed funds for their causes.

Finding the right staff can be a challenge at a time when many candidates are nervous about leaving comfortable positions and where demand for the best people is high. Here are eight top tips for those recruiting into the sector.

1. Stay close to the cause: The main incentive for many professionals working in the third sector, or looking to move into it, is the causes charities represent. For many, the fulfilment of working towards cures, national causes or benevolent funds, is the real driver of desire to work there. Ensuring that this stays central to a recruitment drive is key.

2. Compete with the private sector with attractive benefits: Many charities can’t compete with the financial packages offered in the private sector but rewards can come in different ways. With many professionals now accustomed to home working, a key reward is the ability to work remotely. Ensuring that charity recruiters tap into a well-rounded rewards package including flexible working options, attractive holiday packages, wellbeing initiatives and more, can be more attractive than higher salaries for some.

3. Evaluate recruitment processes: Having a transparent hiring scheme is essential if candidates are going to apply. Continuous evaluation of processes is the answer, together with systematic ways that ensure consistency and fairness. Eliminating bias is as important as guaranteeing that candidates are well informed throughout the stages.

4. Promote the employer brand: Candidates want to be reassured that the charity is a good place to work. Social media campaigns, case studies and short promotional video material can help to illustrate the values of the charity, what it’s like to work there, how culture is embedded into the fabric of the day-to-day work life and what makes it a great place for a career to flourish.

5. Storytelling: Engaging with beneficiaries of charities and hearing the stories of how the charity has helped is an attractive side to working within the third sector. Candidates that are thinking of moving to a charitable role will buy into the fact that the work is making a real difference. Storytelling is an essential part of this and offering a platform for these tales to be shared is a great way of appealing to a dispersed candidate base.

6. Create training and development opportunities: Fundraisers typically change jobs every two years. Putting in place employee development opportunities and career progression plans can boost job tenure and ensure organic development can occur between job posts.

7. Use mixed recruitment strategies: Targeted job boards such as Third Sector Jobs can provide the right types of candidates with the right skill sets but to ensure the best person is found, charity recruiters need to look further afield. Fundraising roles require sales skills and tapping into candidates with these talents may require looking in different areas. Specialist recruiters or head-hunters can provide additional help.

8. Show the salary on your jobs: When you do come to posting that job advert, make sure you include the salary details. There’s an enormous appetite for salary transparency in the third sector, and whilst it’s simply ‘the right thing to do’, it also helps strengthen your employer brand by positioning you as a fair employer and gives you an advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.

Working in the charity sector is hugely rewarding but recruiters cannot afford to rest on their laurels and assume there will be a ready supply of required skills. By boosting the charity’s employer brand, promoting wider benefits, assessing the current recruitment practices and investing in storytelling and development opportunities, charities can help ensure the right talent is found.

Read more about how to rethink your employer brand in this downloadable ebook from Third Sector Jobs’ employer branding agency, Wonderful Workplaces: Employer Branding Reboot: A guide for employers throughout the pandemic and beyond.


Talk to us about how Third Sector Jobs can help you build and communicate your employer brand or recruitment marketing to the charity sector. Email Joe Edmonds to discuss your needs and bespoke special packages.

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