We use cookies to help us provide you with the best experience, improve and tailor our services, and carry out our marketing activities. For more information, including how to manage your cookie settings, see our privacy notice.


Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Community-made content which you can improve Case study from our community

How to Overcome Recruitment Challenges For Non-profits

When it comes to recruiting new employees, non-profits face similar challenges as for-profit organizations, though with one crucial difference: they lack the ample resources of their for-profit counterparts. As a result, they need to take great care of just how they allocate their limited resources in order to stay in business, so to speak. Moreover, when we look at their impact on the overall economy, non-profits are nothing to sneeze at. According to ACNC's report, NPO’s (non-profit organisations) employ more than 1 million people in Australia, which is around 10% of the whole Australian workforce. This just goes to show how important non-profits are for the Australian job market and how there’s a growing need for new recruits that will help further their cause. Here’s a list of a few common recruitment challenges most non-profits face as well as clever ways to overcome them.


Streamline the recruitment process

Due to the limited resources at their disposal, NPO HRs are often forced to wear many hats. Apart from their regular duties, these employees also have to work on a plethora of other tasks, such as: updating job requirements for each position; the recruitment and training of staff; conducting interviews, and so on. This can be both extremely exhausting as well as annoying for your employees to deal with. More importantly, this could result in a lack of time to complete certain chores effectively, clogging the whole process of recruitment in general. Additionally, taking care of taxes, retirement plans, pay checks, worker insurances, etc., can be a real nightmare for small businesses such as non-profits.

The solution: Outsourcing payroll and other administrative HR processes would take some load off of your employees’ hands, resulting in a more streamlined recruitment process. A reliable payroll system, experience, and the extra manpower are just some of the benefits you can expect from such an arrangement. What’s more, partnering with an experienced payroll company will ensure that your organization is in compliance with the latest employment laws and industry trends. That way, you can rest assured that a government official won’t come knocking at your door in the middle of the night.


Deal with limited talent pool

With a limited budget comes a limited talent pool. While for-profits have trouble combing through countless applications to select the best possible candidates for the job, non-profits struggle to make an impact on the job market. Namely, financial constraints can greatly hinder the recruitment process of non-profits as inadequately funded job advertising campaigns won’t bring in as much candidates as is required. Moreover, lower compensations can also act as a deterrent for many a candidate looking to apply for a job in a non-profit organisation, resulting in fewer candidates as well. Yet another reason why non-profits might have trouble attracting talent is due to a lack of market recognition, which is essential for acquiring the industry’s top dogs. Thus, all of these factors contribute to a much smaller list of candidates which makes it all the more difficult to find the right person for the job.

The solution: Include people with disabilities into your search parameters and tap into this mostly unused pool of talent. These are hard-working men and women who are professionals in their own fields, yet their many talents and expertise mainly go unnoticed due to mere prejudice and bias; and like non-profits, they too make up 10% of the total Australian workforce. Now, if you need guidance on how to interact with them during the recruitment phase, a dedicated disability employment agency can provide you with the necessary assistance on that matter. In essence, these agencies specialize in helping both disabled people and companies reach a mutual understanding by improving workflow and satisfaction on both ends.



Minimize high turnover rates

Working for an NPO can be extremely ungrateful. Sure, it has its benefits, you make the world a better place and all that, but it’s not your typical 9 to 5 job. Oftentimes, the position requires you to work long hours into the dead of night, even during weekends, in addition to having to travel from place to place most of the time. In general, NPOs are more demanding than for-profits, which could result in your employees getting burnt out rather quickly. The progress is slow, goals aren’t reached; these are all the problems disillusioned NPO employees have to face on a daily basis. It’s no wonder then that the turnover rates are so damn high. Speaking of which, high turnover rates are directly responsible for the lack of morale, the fall in productivity, and the drop in employee satisfaction for most organization.

The solution: Hire employees that are truly dedicated to your cause so they don’t get burnt out as easily. To achieve this, you need to consider candidates who are extremely passionate about your NPO’s goals over those who are more skilled yet do not share the same ideals. What’s more, you have to take a look at your candidates’ overall work and life experiences. Have they ever volunteered with an NPO before? Have they, perhaps, been affected by the problem your organization is currently tackling? All of this can give you a good idea of what that person is like and whether they have the necessary willpower and resolve to join in on the fight; thus creating an environment of like-minded employees.



Page last edited Nov 23, 2018 History

Help us to improve this page – give us feedback.