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Nonprofit Recruitment

Tips for Recruiting During the Great Resignation

The employee turnover rate has skyrocketed as workers reevaluate their employers and career choices. With millions looking for jobs, the job climate is ripe for nonprofits to hire top talent.  

Does your nonprofit board know why workers left their jobs or what they’re looking for in a new position? The answer to these questions could be the key to latching onto talent that’s a great fit for your nonprofit.

All good things come to an end. With that in mind, have you considered how long The Great Resignation will last? The amount of time you have to recruit employees and volunteers may be running out.

A Snapshot of The Great Resignation

Before we get into the most effective recruitment strategies, let’s review some of the statistics that support The Great Resignation:

  • Approximately 11.5 million workers voluntarily quit their jobs from April-June in 2021 (U.S. Department of Labor). Approximately 4 million workers quit their jobs in July 2021
  • Approximately 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August 2021
  • 55% of workers who are currently employed or looking for work will likely seek a new job in the next year (Bankrate)
  • The global gig economy could grow to $455 billion by 2023 (Broodmin)
  • Over 150 million American workers are self-employed (Pew Research)
  • About 16% of American workers have earned some money using a gig platform.

It’s clear that even considering the massive exodus from the workforce immediately after COVID-19 surfaced, millions of workers are still looking for new jobs or seeking a career change.

What We’ve Learned About Modern Workers from The Great Resignation

The pandemic was such a catastrophic event that it made for some enlightening research studies. Workers have been vocal about what they like and dislike about working in an office or home. They’ve also shed light on some of the reasons for The Great Resignation, as Pew Research reports.

  • 40% of workers said they felt burned out
  • 28% of workers quit their jobs and didn’t have another lined up
  • 34% of workers quit because of organizational changes
  • 20% of workers quit because of lack of flexibility, discrimination, or their ideas weren’t valued
  • 19% of workers quit because of a lack of benefits
  • 16% of workers quit because they didn’t feel their employers supported their well-being

What can nonprofit boards take from these statistics? The data tells you what things are important to workers. The challenge is how your nonprofit can create an environment for workers or volunteers that solves the problems that cause them to quit. Once you recruit and hire good talent, you’ll want to keep them and create opportunities for them to advance within the organization.

The ability to work remotely is high on the list for many workers. Employers can’t see what employees are doing, and they don’t want to pay for unproductive employees. Technology provides many ways for employers to gauge their employees’ output when working remotely. As an added benefit, employers save on overhead if they don’t have to house employees during working hours.

How Do You Attract Employees During the Great Resignation?

Nonprofits have lost their fair share of workers and volunteers through The Great Resignation. Talent is plentiful, with many workers looking for jobs or switching careers. 

Here’s a rundown of 8 ways you can attract the best recruits to fill your positions:

  1. Evaluate your in-office requirements. Do your current rules match what today’s workers are looking for. Every organization needs rules, but they can become outdated over time. Find a balance between rules that benefit your organization and the employees and avoid rules that aren’t serving anyone.
  2. Offer flexibility in working hours wherever possible. According to Bankrate, 55% of American workers prefer to work remotely. Where it’s not possible to work remotely full-time, many would happily accept being able to work from home a few days per week.
  3. Outsource recruitment efforts to professionals. Professional job recruiters have all the tools and skills to find suitable matches for your positions. One of the new tools some are using is a success profile that incorporates knowledge, competencies, experience, and personal attributes. Success profiles evaluate job candidates in the categories that make employees a good fit. 
  4. Offer competitive salaries. About 37% of employees are seeking better compensation. Be transparent about how much you are offering them. Pay a competitive wage so they don’t feel that they’re giving their services away for free. If your nonprofit can only meet the competitor’s salary, think outside the box to offer the benefits the most qualified job seekers are looking for. 
  5. Invest in technical training for employees. Technology is continuing to advance, and workers that have opportunities to upskill are more likely to stay on for the long run. Give them meaningful work to do, and carefully consider their input. 
  6. Check your organization’s culture. The Bankrate study showed that better work culture was important for 17% of those surveyed. 
  7. Clearly state your vaccination and mask policies. Workers have solid opinions about being required to get a COVID vaccine or wear a mask while working. In interviews, it’s best to address your organization’s policies around these issues early on. 
  8. Don’t drag out the recruitment and interview processes. Pursue the best candidates swiftly and inform those who are not a fit at the earliest stage possible. 

Will The Great Resignation Continue Into The Second Half of 2022?

The jury is out on whether The Great Resignation will continue past June 2022.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that in April 2022 the unemployment rate decreased in 13 states, otherwise remained consistent in the other 37 states with no significant increases.

While employment is on the upswing, new variants of COVID are still emerging, so things could continue to be volatile in the near future.

Another gamechanger is that your nonprofit can recruit people from virtually anywhere. Technology makes it possible for employees to work for companies in distant lands and give the same quality performance they would if they sat in a local office.

Overall, it’s prime time for nonprofits to tap into talent that quickly left the corporate world. To get the best talent, nonprofits need to change their strategies to meet the expectations modern workers currently have for their careers.

Meta description: The pandemic brought the issues workers care about to the forefront, and they’re the key to recruiting from the millions who quit during The Great Resignation.



Theresa Sintetos

Content Strategist and Operations Manager with six years of growth in the same company, moving up from social media specialist to executive strategy and director of operations. Skilled in research, writing and editing broad range of content.

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