LinkedIn: A Staff Recruiting Tool for Nonprofits Too

Geri Stengel
Geri Stengel President, Ventureneer

Posted on September 30th 2011

For nonprofits, recruiting is the elephant in the room.

 

A huge turnover in executives will take place in the next five years as Boomers hand off to younger staff, according to a Meyer Foundation report. Idealist.org reports that front-line staff and fundraising experts will also be needed but it also reports that Human Resource departments in nonprofits are understaffed and overwhelmed.

 

Nonprofits set aside little, if any, money for recruitment. How will they find good replacements when the ED retires, the program director finds another job, the IT guy goes back to school or the fundraising director burns out? To do the social good they aspire to, nonprofits must have dedicated, motivated staff at all levels.


If increased need and no money isn’t an elephant, I don’t know what is.


Recruiting the right staff has always been a challenge for nonprofits. Not only do nonprofits need people with specific skills, they  need people with passion for a cause, and an interest in changing the world.


Still true, despite the fact that more than 9% of Americans are unemployed.


One way to get that staff without a recruitment budget is through social media. Social recruiting is the way of the future. Don’t scoff! Understanding these options, particularly LinkedIn, will save nonprofits a lot of grief, shorten the recruitment process, and bring good candidates to your interviewers.


I stress LinkedIn because 3.6 million nonprofit professionals have profiles on LinkedIn. It’s the place where people post their work history, their awards, their passions, and the projects they’ve shepherded to success.  LinkedIn is the place where businesses -- yes, nonprofits are businesses! --can find highly qualified candidates, with the right skills and the requisite passion.


More importantly, it automatically indicates connections between your nonprofit and potential hires so you can ask someone you know about the candidate.


LinkedIn “gets” nonprofits and recruiting. It has free and paid tools to access that wealth of information about candidates for even the hardest-to-fill positions. It also offers discounts to eligible nonprofits on the next level of fee-based services. But you can do a lot at the basic level.


Using LinkedIn for recruitment isn’t limited to finding staff. You can search for volunteers and even board members. In fact,  LinkedIn recently added a section in which people can showcase their volunteer experience. Use this feature to find people who are already committed to your cause.


I think that LinkedIn can help deal with the elephant in the room. Find out why I am so sure about this by attending Ventureneer’s free webinar How to Use LinkedIn for Nonprofit Staff Recruitment.  You’ll learn how easy to use and far-reaching LinkedIn social recruiting is. And if the reports are right, you’ll be glad you did.

Geri Stengel

Geri Stengel

President, Ventureneer

Stengel is president of Ventureneer, a media, marketing, and research company that helps corporations build meaningful relationships with small businesses. Our strategies convert leads into loyal customers. We create content-marketing -- research, social media, articles, in-person events, case studies, e-newsletters, webinars, microsites, white papers, etc. -- for corporations. The content is value-added for small businesses and nonprofits and takes them from brand awareness to brand evangelists. Stengel, is a contributor to Forbes (http://blogs.forbes.com/geristengel/), The Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geri-stengel), American Express OPEN Forum, Women 2.0 among other sites. She also has her own blog, Vistas (http://ventureneer.com).
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