May 27, 2022

Staff Recruitment: How to Build an Employee Pipeline

You’re struggling with nonprofit staff recruitment to fill employee gaps. Given the job market, you know that this is now one of a nonprofit leader’s long term challenges.

This video shares a handful of techniques to upgrade your employee recruitment pipeline with quality candidates in way that will also enhance your retention.

Chapters of Nonprofit Staff Recruitment: Building Your Employee Pipeline

0:00 Introduction

0:24 What’s Better Than an Internship?

1:13 What’s Better Than an Educational Bonus?

1:43 What’s Better Than a Want Ad?

2:29 What’s Better Than a Hiring Bonus?

2:54 How Will You Build Your Staff Recruitment Pipeline?


Resource Mentioned

Podcast: Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership: 153: Building A Pipeline for Emerging Nonprofit Leaders (Nick Azulay) 

Chat with Karen – Schedule a time here

Nonprofit Staff Recruitment: Building Your Employee Pipeline


You’re struggling with nonprofit staff recruitment challenges to fill employee gaps. Given the job the market, you probably have already embraced the fact that this staff recruitment challenges will be with you long-term. So, if that’s the case, you want to watch this video because then I will share a handful of ways that you can improve your recruitment process by bumping up what you’re already doing.

Warning! Some of these ideas are labor-intensive but never fear. I saved the easiest one to last.

What’s Better Than an Internship?

Here’s the first idea for you. Consider an internship or, even better, a fellowship. What’s the difference? A fellow has already graduated from college, and they’ve been selected as a special person to fill the fellowship position. The fellowships often come with training so that the person coming out of a nonprofit program, and there are many across the country, gains the skills they need to be competitive in the job market and have that year of experience that they need.

The benefit for you is you get to help this person. You get to look at them and they’re potential great long-term employees because you’ve given them the training they need to succeed at your work.

I thank Patton McDowell for this idea. It was in one of his podcasts. I’ll put the link below.

What’s Better Than an Educational Bonus?

Another idea to fill difficult employee positions is to consider your educational bonuses. Now that you have them is great. How to bump them up? Consider looking at what would take to fill those hard-to-fill, always-a-struggle to fill positions. What is it that people need? Can you offer your current employees or incoming employees those opportunities? So you’re basically designing your own mini-college to solve your employee staff problem, with your educational bonuses.What’s Better Than a Want Ad?

What’s Better Than a Want Ad?

How else can you solve your employee recruitment challenges? Yes, use external ads, but even better, rethink who is in your circle of influence internally. Philip Tavill of Children First in Florida: one-fifth of his staff are the parents of current or former clients. If you re-look at who is in your circle influence, you might see clients, customers, relatives, friends, all who know about your organization already know you and respect the work you do. What would it take to make them your employees? Have you thought about how you might recruit them?

What’s Better Than a Hiring Bonus?

You waited patiently for the idea that’s easiest to implement. We’ve gotten there. Instead of bonuses that go to the new employee, to bump that up, consider giving a bonus to your current employees to identify people who are successful job candidates. Now, this has the advantage of helping your current staff and also, if you remind them of them, offer them this opportunity and shout it out, when they are successful, it helps you to have recruitment going on for your nonprofit 365 days a year.

How Will You Build Your Staff Recruitment Pipeline?

Which of these ideas can you begin today?

Consider sharing this with your staff and beginning a task force to grow your employee recruitment pipeline.

If you need some help, it’s super easy to reach out and have a chat with me or send me an email. The information is below.

For more answers, check out this Nonprofit  CEO Library.

For solutions delivered to your inbox, sign up for Karen’s CEO Solutions.

Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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