Nonprofits, especially small organizations, have little margin for error when it comes to hiring employees. Bringing on a bad employee that ultimately has to be let go soon means the organization will be wasting valuable dollars.
Obvious hiring mistakes — not preparing for the interview, etc. — are harmful enough; it’s the more systematic problems that can be especially dangerous.
Systematic hiring mistakes are usually made because the nonprofit has not fully made clear what is expected from candidates. Below are four of the most common errors that will do the most harm to your hiring process:
- Failing to identify your most pressing needs. You’re unlikely to get the applicant for which you are looking if you don’t clearly define this in your job description. This includes specifically explaining the experience and skills needed for the job, or in what the state the candidate should be located.
- Not confirming a candidate’s skills. It’s easy enough for a candidate to say they can perform a specific task. Unless you take the time to test them on their claims (i.e., giving them a typing test) you run the risk of hiring someone who cannot do the job.
- Hiring out of desperation. No matter how desperately you need a new employee, you should never hire someone just because you need him. Wait until you find the right match before making a job offer.
- Hiring without a plan. You should never begin a hiring campaign if you still don’t know the kind of employee you want. Make sure everyone in HR and upper management is in agreement about what the organization needs before starting.