Social Sector Recruiters Guide: How to effectively attract candidates to social sector organisations?

By Surabhi Nijhawan

In the recent years, the social sector has emerged as a popular career choice with an influx of professionals entering this workspace. Increased awareness about social impact, rising opportunities in social enterprises and social innovation along with degrees and courses focusing on the development space have contributed to this trend.

With the plethora of choices available to job seekers, employers in the social sector now need to differentiate themselves to attract the right talent. It’s no longer about a job seeker making himself/ herself stand out ; organisations too need to work hard to present themselves in ways that attract more and more relevant job seekers.

Here are some tips and tricks from Arthan’s talent acquisition team for social organisations to hire outstanding talent!

Prompt, professional & articulate in their communication

While on a job search, candidates apply for multiple positions and interact with several recruiters at once. During their application process, candidates too evaluate their prospective employers to learn more about their the work culture of the organisation, potential colleagues and the overall work. Thus candidates give preferential weightage to hiring managers who are:

  • Prompt and timely with their communication
  • Professional, articulate and clear in their communication


Adding responsibility and accountability to the role

When employees feel that the job they are applying for will enable them to take ownership and  feel accountability at the organisation, they feel inspired to take it up. At the end of the day, candidates do look beyond salary and perks – a job that is satisfying and offers employees greater responsibility, can make for a good offer.

Getting to know the candidate, and what inspires them

Building a personal connection with someone you are going to interview helps build a comfort level. Getting to know about their interests, aspirations and goals will help you understand their personality and attitude, as well as make them feel connected to the organisation’s culture and values.

A crisp, and clear job description

Gone are the days when candidates would go through long job descriptions. These days, candidates want to read enough to know about the requirements and the key responsibilities – thus a simple and comprehensive job description can attract a lot more applications than a long, detailed one.  The more there is to read, the more confusing it is. Thus, try and keep the job descriptions simple. It is a good idea to write the job description in pointers or prepare it in a form of PDF or infographics.

The job description should highlight the USP of the organisation

As a hiring manager, selling the job profile to a prospective candidate is the most significant task of the job. One way to do this is to underline the USP of the organisation. What is it that makes your organisation stand out – is it the clients you work with? The founders and the board? Or the impact and work you have done in the field? This helps the hiring manager establish the organisation as an industry leader, thus making it attractive for the candidate.

Have the senior management be closely involved in the hiring process.

Involving the founders and senior management in the hiring process helps in developing a culture of accessibility and collaboration.

Give them feedback

Giving tough feedback isn’t easy, but can really help the candidate bring their best game forward. Providing them with tips before their next interview, or giving them clear and constructive feedback can help them fix their mistakes, and motivate them to perform better. At the same time, the candidates will be aware that the hiring managers are helpful, leading to brownie points for the organisation.

(With inputs from Rahul Balakrishnan & Anchal Kakkar) 

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