Nonprofit organizations have an enormous opportunity to polish their employer brands and really show them off to entry-level job candidates. To hear insight into employer branding mistakes and solutions at nonprofits, we interviewed Matt Kaiser, Director of Recruitment at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
Read takeaways from the interview at https://www.collegerecruiter.com/blog/2018/05/18/nonprofit-employer-branding-attract-talent/
Uncovering a distinct employer brand
Kaiser points out that the challenge has never been finding candidates who want to make an impact. In fact, they all do. He says, “The challenge instead is attracting the talent that most closely fits into the organization’s culture.” The way that Children’s is building onto their existing employer brand is by talking about the elements that make them unique.
The key selling points of your organization, says Kaiser, are ones that will set you apart from similar organizations. For example, when he is recruiting he makes sure to talk about Children’s plans for future growth. He tells candidates that “we have plans in the next five years to build a whole new campus and change the landscape of pediatrics at the Atlanta Hospital. There will be a new center for advanced pediatrics and new support buildings for all of our support staff.”
To attract more talent, Kaiser encourages employers to show how employees will be able to grow and how the company itself is growing. Also important are any awards your organization has received. For example, when recruiting for roles at Children's, he tells them "We've been on Fortune Best Places to Work for 13 years in a row, a Best Place for working mothers, millennials, and diversity.”
Importance of employee wellness
Many companies talk about benefits, work life balance, or compensation. These things are good, but Kaiser says it doesn't necessarily set you apart from other organizations. Employers need to uncover what is different about their benefits and promote that in your employer brand as a value proposition.
For example, Kaiser focuses a lot on Children's wellness program, which prioritizes their employees' physical and mental healthy. They have “Wellness Wednesdays,” where employees can come to work in workout gear as long as they promise to workout for at least 30 minutes that day (there is a gym on site). This is a fun excuse for employees to come to work casually dressed, while also an encouragement to stay active and healthy.
Common employer branding mistakes made by nonprofit organizations
The biggest mistake that nonprofits make is thinking that their brand and nonprofit status will sell itself. Kaiser explains, “While many people want to work for an organization that makes a difference, you also need to share some of those unique offerings and showcase your value proposition as an employer.”
The nonprofit status and the fact that you're focused on giving back to the community is a strong point, but that's not the only point. When you're competing for talent, branding is what really helps propel the notion of what's different, better, unique, and more compelling about your organization.
Nonprofits should be sure to share key elements that make their organization attractive. They can't just rely on their purpose to bring in all of the talent.
Get your employer brand to resonate without a large budget
Investing in building an employer brand may seem daunting to nonprofits on a tight budget. But many nonprofit recruiting teams are able to get their brand to resonate without spending a whole lot of money.
First, Kaiser encourages organizations to engage your leaders and employees to help you. Nurses know other nurses, physicians know other physicians. Kaiser says, “Make it a point to share with leaders and employees when there are job openings.”
Kaiser says that at Children’s, they are “consistently posting jobs and content stories.” He finds that stories can be extremely powerful and really resonate with candidates. People like reading positive content about an organization. Share press releases and articles that paint your company in a good light.
Partnerships are also a great way to have both a positive impact and increase visibility without a big recruitment budget. For example, Children’s has established a partnership with Goodwill. “Goodwill has a strong candidate base for us when it comes to support services,” Kaiser states. They host monthly hiring events with Goodwill and it doesn't cost Children's a thing. Partnerships like this can be a win-win for everybody.