5 Questions Nonprofits Should Ask Candidates During the ‘Great Reshuffle’

The success of any nonprofit relies on its employees, board members, and volunteers. They increase your funds, build relationships with donors, and keep operations running. While corporations stress about the loss of employees, the Great Reshuffle has proven to be beneficial for nonprofits. Nonprofit organizations can capitalize by attracting high-quality candidates that seek meaningful work. 

The pandemic has opened people’s eyes to new opportunities and shifting perspectives when it comes to their ideal work environment. As recruiters juggle turnovers in the workplace, they are also faced with the task of sourcing, interviewing, and hiring new talent. The same goes for nonprofits, who can take better steps to hold onto and acquire motivated employees. As you prepare for interviewing candidates and review your interview questions, here are 5 more questions designed to evaluate if candidates are looking for a change — and if your nonprofit is what they’re looking for.

1. What’s one thing you’ve learned recently that has changed how you think about your career?

The pandemic has caused people to learn a lot of life lessons, both in their personal and work lives. For working professionals making a career switch, this can help you better gauge their reasoning and motivation for that transition. Maybe they felt burnt out in the world of large corporations, or finally got the push they needed to pursue a career they’ve always wanted. Nonprofit work can be rewarding, and you’ll gain an idea of the candidate’s understanding of what they want from their day-to-day work and what they need to be successful.

2. Describe your ideal work environment.

It’s worth asking the candidate about their ideal work environment, whether that be in-person, fully remote, or hybrid. With the new way work is done, and with advancements in technology, a lot of roles within nonprofits and other organizations don’t require in-office hours to get the job done. Great Reshuffle candidates are attracted to organizations that offer a work-life balance, flexibility, and a meaningful work experience, so be sure to ask them what work setting they prefer.  If they prefer working in a hybrid or remote work environment, be sure to also ask what worked and what didn’t work in their last role, and how they prefer to stay connected with their team.

3. Tell me about a time you felt burned out at work.

Nonprofit employees are known for their dedication and drive to spread their organizations mission and values with the community. Some days, it can feel impossible to draw the line between their work and personal life. In fact, 44% of employees are more burned out than they were a year ago. By asking candidates to share a time they felt burned out at work, you create a space for them to be vulnerable and talk about work challenges they’ve faced, and offer details on what your organization has done to help in similar instances.

4. What would a truly supportive employer look like to you?

At this point, you should have an idea of why the candidate has chosen to leave their last role. By prompting them to share their perspective on what it means to be a supportive employer, you’ll get a sense of if their expectations match what your nonprofit can offer them. Maybe they’re looking for support that comes with a better work-life balance, or the opportunity to still feel involved despite working remotely. No matter their answer, be sure to detail how your organization supports its employees and how you’re working towards creating an even more supportive environment.

5. What skill are you looking to develop in your new role?

It’s likely that skilled workers leaving the world of large corporations for work in the nonprofit sector already have a strong resume, but there is always room for growth whether that be in your personal or work life. Developing new or existing skills will help candidates gain opportunities to advance in their career, and potentially with your organization. By asking this question, you’ll get an idea how seriously the candidate takes their work, and if they hope to grow with your organization. Whether they hope to develop their productivity, problem-solving, or leadership skills, it’s a good idea to get insight on what skills they plan on developing in their new role.

Interviews used to be a frightening concept for some working professionals, but in the time of the Great Reshuffle, they don’t have to be. The working world is evolving, and long-term success can be attributed to hiring and retaining the best talent possible. By creating opportunities for candidates to learn more about your organization's culture and policies, they can make informed decisions about joining your nonprofit.

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