Struggling to attract digital talent to your charity? Time to read our top tips for success!

We know that recruiting digital talent is becoming increasingly important for charities in order to maximise the use of digital channels to increase their reach.  In fact, 65% of charities are worried they will miss out on opportunities for digital funding with a lack of skills.  A further 51% say a lack of skills is the biggest barrier to getting the most from digital[1].    But how can charities compete for digital skills in this highly competitive market?

Here we give some tips on how to ensure you can attract the right digital talent:

Tip 1: Attract digital talent by being clear on who you are

Be clear on who you are and what you stand for.  We frequently speak to candidates who are looking for something more from their career.  They want to have the ability to make a difference and a sense of purpose from their role.  Charities are well placed to deliver this for candidates.  This should be central to your recruitment campaign.

This is not just in a one off recruitment process activity.  You need to always be thinking about communicating your mission and values.  What is your employer value proposition for prospective and current employees?  Define who you are and tell your story early on in the recruitment process.  That way, you will attract the right talent that will ‘fit’ within your charity from a cultural perspective as well as have the skills.

Tip 2: Create a supportive working culture

When you aren’t as well-known or have the best salaries out there, culture and purpose become even more important.  But this is not something that can simply be stated in a job description.  It is a commitment to create an environment that actively promotes a positive and supportive working culture.  All employees working there must feel it.  It must be communicated externally and lived by all levels of management.  This all links back to clarity – being able to demonstrate the culture of your charity to attract talent with the desired digital skills.  We have worked with a number of candidates who have chosen to move from higher paid roles to a not for profit because they believe in the core aims of the organisation.

Tip 3: Identify other benefits that will attract digital talent

Charities will always struggle to compete on salary against larger and private organisations but there are many broader benefits that candidates equally value. This all flows from culture but offering flexible working and other non-financial benefits can go a long way.  Candidates looking to achieve a better work life balance will be incentivised to move – something we have seen often with our candidates.

Tip 4: Work quickly to ensure you don’t lose candidates

The digital recruitment market is fast moving and charities need to respond to that.  The recruitment process needs to be simple and efficient.  Don’t wait for a deadline before reviewing your applications – shortlist as you go and get in touch with strong candidates.  Ensure your interview process isn’t too onerous either, if a candidate has to attend a multitude of interviews they will quickly be offered another role elsewhere.  We always qualify candidates over the phone first to check the essentials are right (location etc) before holding a one to one virtual meeting to check cultural fit ahead of their interview with an employer.  This ensures they are the right fit without wasting time.

By telling your story, who you are as a charity, what you represent and the wider benefits and culture of your organisation, you can compete to attract the right digital talent to maximise your impact.

[1] Why the charity sector needs digital skills: infographic, Charity Digital News, 14th December 2018, https://www.charitydigitalnews.co.uk/2018/12/14/digital-skills-in-the-charity-sector-the-facts/

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