listen-1702648_640Recruiting and training the best people is critical to creating a strong organisation, and it’s not a task that is as simple as it might seem. For example, some positions will require certain skills or a specific background, and it can be challenging to find people with just the right experience.

A candidate’s personality traits, however, are just as important as their experience. If you want to create an organisation that runs smoothly, you need to find individuals that share your nonprofit’s values and passion and who have personal goals that align with your mission.

Don’t Skip the Interview Process

While it’s time-consuming to talk to everyone who applies, the interview process is your chance to meet with your applicants, get to know them as people and learn what makes them “tick.” Even if you are crushed for time, don’t skip the interview process.

Hiring the wrong person can wreak havoc with morale and efficiency. Sometimes, it can even lead to a loss of reputation should your new hire make a costly mistake, or act unethically.

The following strategies can help you to ask the right questions so that you increase the odds that you will recruit volunteers and staff members that will be a good fit for your organisation.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Ask questions that encourage the candidate to share details that reveal their personality and preferences. Some good topics for discussion include the following types of questions. “Tell me what really interests you” or, “What are you passionate about and why?”

Ask Probing Questions

There are many reasons why someone looks for a new position so ask probing questions to try to determine if your candidate is simply looking for a new experience, or, if there was another, less favourable, reason why they left their previous position. Ask about their favourite part of their former job, and, what tasks and duties did they dislike and why.

Ask Questions that Relate Specifically to the Job

Try to frame your questions in a way that relates to the tasks and duties that they will perform at your nonprofit. For example, if the candidate will be working with service recipients, ask them about their past experiences working with the public. If you need someone to help with fundraising, ask them if they have any prior experience raising funds for a cause.

Is Your Candidate a Problem Solver?

Organisations of every type need people who are creative, are critical thinkers, and can come up with new solutions for hard-to-solve, longstanding issues. When interviewing your candidate, ask them how they would handle certain, difficult situations and try to come up with scenarios that relate to the work that they will do for your nonprofit.

For example, you might ask them how they would handle a donor that is reluctant to give again, or, what steps they would take to help a service recipient if they had trouble applying for a specific program or service that your NFP provides to the public.

Make the Interview Process a Team Effort.

It’s almost always a good idea to include existing members of your team in the interview process. After all, who knows better what experience and traits your candidate should have than the individuals who are already performing similar work.

Consider creating an interview panel of two to three members of your team to conduct the first round of interview with your prospects. Conduct a follow-up interview with those candidates that your team recommended.

If you don’t have the time or budget to conduct more than one round of interviews, consider having your team submit a list of questions that they believe candidates should be asked. They could also provide you with a list of traits that they think the ideal candidate should possess in order to be able to perform well and fit in with the group.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that there are certain rules and guidelines when it comes to the types of questions that you can legally ask in an interview. While you want to discover something about the person and their qualifications, you also want to be certain that you are not biased, or discriminatory, in your recruiting practices.