Make the Right Hire From the Start

Many nonprofits suffer from limited financial resources which equates to limited staff resources. When the opportunity to expand in staff occurs, nonprofits oftentimes rush to bring in a new staff member, rather than take the time to thoughtfully plan, recruit, and train the new staff member.

First of all, when resources become available to expand, it is absolutely necessary not to hire an individual that you like and create a position that is specifically tailored to fit the candidate’s strengths.

Your organization has real staffing needs and you need to identify those needs and then prioritize them. Next, create a list of the job positions and define the responsibilities for each position. Once you have the positions defined you need to determine the qualifications for each position and how you will select applicants to be interviewed. You need to be realistic in your qualifications and selection criteria, but don’t make unnecessary sacrifices. It is a good idea to create a metrics on how you will rate applicants.

Once you have received applications and have determined the individuals you would like to consider, contact references FIRST. You do not want to conduct interviews and fall in love with a candidate only to find out that their references do not check out. Once references have been checked, then conduct interviews, making sure you incorporate a team of interviewers.

As a side note, when determining which candidates to interview, please do not select candidates that don’t meet your minimum selection criteria. Also, think twice about hiring a customer or other valued constituent. Do you want them to see what happens behind the scenes? Will they still be a loyal constituent? I love(d) my alma mater, and thought working there would be my dream job, but in the end, I didn’t want to identify myself as an alum. Happily, I am in a much better place, but it took years for me to move past the work experience (and it wasn’t that my work experience was bad).

After the interview process, meet with the interview team to rate the candidates. Starting with your top candidate, conduct a background check. If the check is clear, then you can make the offer. The hiring process is not over once the position has been filled. Remember to provide the proper training and orientation for your new staff, and throughout the introductory period, provide feedback to the employee.

By making sure you take the proper steps to expand your organizational staff, you are ensuring that you will have less H.R. issues in the future.

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