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Charity recruitment trends to be aware of in 2022

Annie Hayes at Third Sector Jobs offers top tips for third sector recruiters on the trends to look out for in 2022 to help you recruit and retain quality talent.

The first month of the year is normally the busiest in terms of recruitment activity, with the first quarter seeing an average of 30% of the entire year’s applications, based on 2020 and 2021 Third Sector Jobs data.*

This bodes well for those looking to recruit between now and March, especially given the challenges of recruiting and retaining quality talent.

Here are some key trends to help inform your recruitment drive:

Purpose not pay

For many third sector workers the cause they set to serve is the driving force behind them working there. Many candidates will have a personal reason for wanting to work at a particular charity.

Yet, pay cannot be ignored and goodwill alone will not ensure a robust and competent workforce. Recruiters in this sector must ensure that both are addressed and that pay is comparative with other sectors where possible.

Recruitment free from bias

Technology-enabled screening processes are helping to remove any unconscious biases and ensure that the recruitment process is fair and equitable for all applicants.

Chatbots can answer candidate questions and ensure the process is two-way. This does go hand-in-hand with the human touch but importantly means that the right person for the job is found in the right way.

January moves

Data from Third Sector Jobs shows a spike in candidates looking for new jobs at the start of any year. Charities that can plan their recruitment requirements for the year ahead will do well to advertise at the start of the year when the talent pool is bigger.

Bloomberg (December 2021) also reports that one reason firms are finding it hard to hire staff is that hundreds of thousands of people left the workforce during the pandemic.

About 200,000 European Union nationals are estimated to have departed the UK, while others have become ‘inactive’, declaring themselves retired, sick or in full-time education. This means that it’s even more important to tap into a candidate pool when it is actively seeking new employment.


The power of stories and real-life case studies cannot be undervalued. Third sector candidates are already driven by a desire to help the charities they want to work for.

Recruiters that can harness the power of social media, through video messaging, podcasts, fundraising posts and appeals, will do well to ensure their charity and the purpose it sets to serve is frequently communicated together with the targets it holds for the future.

New ways of working

The pandemic has reset expectations around presenteeism and for many jobs has proved that working at home can be as productive. Many candidates report improved wellbeing and time with family, effected by remote working.

Going forward, hybrid working models, where possible, may be increasingly valued over more pay for some candidates, and recruiters need to ensure they understand the desires of their workforce and can deliver upon them when possible.

Of course, for many fundraisers, being out at charitable events is part of the job and one that they wish to continue with but this can also be coupled with remote working where administration and planning can be done at home.

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 or the charity finance jobs team to discuss your needs and bespoke special packages.

Read more about how to rethink your employer brand in this downloadable e-book from Wonderful Workplaces.And check out the latest jobs here.

*Third Sector Jobs Insights, Madgex

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