Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
4 min Read
June 5, 2024

Beyond job postings: How branding drives staff recruitment

In the world of nonprofit recruitment, attracting top talent often feels like an uphill battle. You’re passionate about your cause, but how do you translate that passion into attracting employees who would be committed to your mission?  The answer lies not just in traditional job postings, but in leveraging the power of your nonprofit brand.

Here’s why a strong brand is your secret weapon for attracting and retaining high-performing staff:

Values-driven attraction: Today’s talent pool prioritizes purpose. A strong brand communicates your mission, impact, and core values. This transparency lets candidates assess if their values align, fostering a sense of connection before they even apply.

Culture on display: Brand isn’t just about what you do, it’s about how you do it. Showcase your work environment, team dynamics, and commitment to employee well-being through compelling visuals and messaging. Paint a picture of where potential hires can see themselves thriving.

Like minds, Like mission: A strong brand attracts individuals from all walks of life who are passionate about your cause. These candidates are already invested in your mission, often sharing your social media posts or volunteering for your initiatives. By embracing culture adds, you bring in fresh perspectives and diverse experiences, enriching your team and fostering a more inclusive environment. This approach not only enhances innovation but also helps to ensure that new hires are highly engaged and productive, contributing to a vibrant and dynamic organizational culture.

Standing out from the crowd: A powerful brand sets you apart. It positions your organization as visionary, forward-looking, and a place where individuals who share in your mission can truly make a difference. 

Ready to leverage your brand for recruitment? Here’s your roadmap:

Craft a compelling employer value proposition (EVP).  Think of your EVP as your organization’s “why us?” statement.  Here’s how to build it:

  • Gather input: Talk to your team! What excites them about working for your nonprofit? What unique benefits do they enjoy (flexible schedules, professional development opportunities, etc.)?
  • Highlight the distinctions: Identify what sets you apart from other organizations in your sector. Do you have a casual and collaborative work environment? Offer opportunities to travel for your mission? Shine a light on these differentiators!
  • Craft your message: Condense your findings into a clear and concise statement that encapsulates why talented people would be excited to join your team.

Infuse your brand story into recruitment materials.  Job descriptions are valuable tools for attracting qualified candidates, and can also be powerful recruitment assets when crafted with your brand in mind. Here are some tips to turn your standard job postings into engaging recruitment tools:

  • Lead with impact: Start by painting a picture of the role’s connection to your mission. How will this position directly contribute to achieving your goals?
  • Weave in brand messaging: Use your brand language throughout the description. Highlight how the daily tasks of the role reflect your core values and culture.
  • Reinforce brand strategy: If you have defined your personality, look for ways to express it in your postings.
  • Show, don’t tell: Instead of only listing generic responsibilities, integrate specific examples of projects or initiatives the new hire might be involved in.

Demonstrate social media savvy.  Don’t just fill your social channels exclusively with asks for money or program updates.  Use your social media platforms to showcase your brand and the incredible people who make your mission a reality:

  • Integrate culture snapshots: Share photos and videos that capture the essence of your team dynamic. Highlight team-building events, retreats, volunteer activities, or casual moments in the office.
  • Celebrate staff achievements: Recognize your team’s successes and wins. Did someone win an award or achieve a milestone? Publicly recognize their accomplishments and highlight the supportive environment that helped them thrive.
  • Present behind-the-scenes glimpses: Offer potential candidates a peek into the day-to-day life of your organization. Show what a typical workday might look like, or share snippets of ongoing projects.

Employee testimonials are gold.  Your team are your most valuable brand ambassadors when it comes to recruiting:

  • Feature employee stories: Interview team members about their experiences at your nonprofit. What drew them to the organization? What keeps them engaged? Share their stories on your website, podcasts, and social media to showcase the power of your work environment from an insider’s perspective.
  • Encourage social sharing: Invite your team to share their positive experiences on their social media channels. Provide them with templates or talking points to make it easy for them to advocate for your organization.

By implementing these strategies, you can leverage your nonprofit brand to resonate with future staff eager to make a difference. Remember, recruitment is a two-way street. Showcase your unique culture and mission-driven work to attract top talent genuinely excited to join your team and champion your cause.

Olivia Freire

Olivia Freire is the Director of Operations, Worker-Owner at Big Duck

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