Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Tips for Nonprofit Organizations for Screening Job Applicants and Volunteers

Today’s labor market is highly competitive, and nonprofit organizations worldwide struggle to attract the right candidates. Some nonprofits get lost among other organizations that rank higher in the search engine result pages (SERPs). This happens because of poor search engine optimization. As a result, applicants may not even be able to find the organizations. 

On the other hand, when nonprofits look for job applicants, they emphasize recruiting talented applicants with the required skills, knowledge, core values, and personal traits to fit the listed job qualifications. 

To increase the chances of finding the best talents, nonprofit organizations must proficiently screen the most marketable candidates. How? That’s the question we are now going to answer. Keep on reading!

Prepare Your Nonprofit Website for Applicants 

A website is an extension of your nonprofit organization. However, creating a solid website does more than just gather interest from volunteers. It also saves time in the screening process for nonprofits by weeding out the wrong applicants and focusing on those who are a good fit for your organization. 

Make It Easy for Applicants to Find Your Website

Your nonprofit organization likely works hard to find suitable applicants for the open positions. But your efforts are meaningless if your website isn’t optimized well for those candidates to find you. Make it easy for job seekers to stumble upon your site on the SERP before you start losing out on top talent. 

You can do this by placing relevant keywords on recruitment pages. That way, your website will appear higher in search results when a potential applicant searches for those keywords. There are thousands of appropriate terms you can target, but keyword suggestions made by a tool like SE Ranking can help you quickly narrow down your list and pick the most relevant keywords for your SEO campaign.

  screening process for nonprofits

Represent Your Nonprofit’s Brand in Your Website Content

As you may know, how content is written plays a significant role in how people perceive your company or organization. So, when creating a website for your nonprofit, it’s important to consider how you will portray your organization’s mission, values, and programs through your content to reflect your nonprofit’s brand positively. Keep in mind who you’re reaching and why they are reading your content in terms of the screening process for nonprofits.

 screening process for nonprofits

Description: The description of Candid’s values on their Work at Candid page
Source: Candid

Write Specific, Tailored Role Descriptions for Volunteers

A solid and well-written role description provides potential applicants with enough information to decide whether or not to apply. It gives them a clear picture of what they can expect once they join your organization. Make sure you provide an accurate and concise explanation of each role’s responsibilities and required skills to narrow down the list of applicants for the screening process for nonprofits.

Comprehensive descriptions of what is needed to be done for your organization will help you attract volunteers who are genuinely interested in and committed to filling that role rather than those who may apply simply to “get their foot in the door.” 

 screening process for nonprofits

Description: The Tailored Candid’s Job Description
Source: Candid

5 Best Methods for Screening Candidates

  1. Create an Application Form

As a human resources professional, you know the importance of creating an application form. After all, it is the first step in the screening process for nonprofits that determines whether an applicant meets the qualifications for the job opening. The information an applicant provides when filling out an application form can help weed out people who are inappropriate for the job. By getting this information at the very beginning, you’ll avoid any long-term issues that could cost you time and money.

  1. Set an In-Person Interview

Instead of a phone interview, you should try to meet people face-to-face to get a stronger sense of who they are. Their body language and how they present themselves can provide deeper insights into whether they will be a good fit for the role or not. However, as your company grows, conducting initial screening interviews with every applicant may be time-consuming for nonprofits.

  1. Check References

You can learn a lot about the candidates from their past and present employers by asking questions like how long they worked for the companies, what types of responsibilities were carried out, and how well they did those tasks. The more detailed information you get from their past employers, the better your chance of finding the right candidate for your nonprofit organization.

  1. Use Personality Assessments

While many individuals and organizations focus on skills, they are not enough. Pay close attention to human nature as well.

  • A personality assessment measures personal traits, psychological outlook, and behavioral tendencies. 

Using such an assessment in the screening process for nonprofits can provide insight into whether or not a person will be a good fit for your organization or if they exhibit traits that could cause problems down the road, like absenteeism. 

  • For example, if you are looking for someone with strategic thinking, it would be easy to set up a screening platform based on one of these skill sets. This would prevent candidates that have shown an inability to plan and prioritize in the past from applying for the position. 

These assessments can also help companies to determine if a candidate’s personality matches the personalities of present employees at the organization. This can be beneficial because companies want employees to get along well and engage in productive teamwork.

  1. Conduct Background Checks

While interviewing and testing applicants is an essential screening process for nonprofits, conducting background checks for nonprofits is equally important. They can help you eliminate applicants who have a history of defaulting on their loans, stealing, fraud, or lying on their applications. Besides, you can run an employment credit check which will help you determine if the applicant is worth a personal interview. 

What Happens After the Job Screening Process for Nonprofits?

The entire recruiting process is an intricate and complex sequence of events that all hinge upon the existence of a solid applicant screening procedure for nonprofit organizations. It is generally the first stage in which companies can efficiently reduce the number of applicants by screening and evaluating candidates, arranging in-person interviews, checking references, or carrying out personality assessments. The next stage involves further evaluation of the remaining candidates.

While a solid volunteer screening process can be crucial to one’s success in the recruitment industry, what happens afterward is arguably even more valuable. After reviewing some CVs, employers shortlist the candidates who catch their attention the most. Next up, employers dive deeper into each applicant’s resume instead of just skimming their applications. And finally, they choose the applicant they believe will be the ideal employee. Voila! Work is done. Tedious but rewarding!

Find out How a Non Profit Organization Improved Volunteer Screening by 3x Using Spark Hire


Alina TytarenkoFeatured Guest Expert Alina Tytarenko

Alina Tytarenko is part of the marketing team at SE Ranking and has worked in the SEO sphere for four years. She shares her experience in marketing techniques and how to apply them in recruiting sphere. Alina values new hiring tactics and says it’s a key to getting better results and reaching company goals.

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Spark Hire is honored to host featured guest experts on our HR & Recruiting Blog. We're committed to bringing you the best tips and trends to streamline your hiring and recruiting processes. Thank you for your contributions and readership.

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