Hiring With Gratitude

We often say, people are the greatest asset to a charity. Finding great talent requires directing considerable time and energy into budget planning, job postings, interviews and negotiations. And while the employment landscape is constantly changing we have to adapt with it.

Most people, are familiar with the phrase, “only those candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.” These are commonly the last words you read on a job posting.

Somewhere along the way the popular use of the statement emerged in our nonprofit sector as a way to efficiently manage our work and perhaps an attempt to convey the  message ‘we’re the employer of choice’, but have we inadvertently been sending another message?

With the adoption of new digital technologies and improvements in work processes it’s time to rethink how we treat ALL people seeking to work with our charities with a greater degree of reverence. Hiring with gratitude is about extending a positive, intentional written response of appreciation to every applicant who shows interest in your working with your charity. Consider the following rationale:

  • Presumably applicants spend hours researching your charity, preparing their cover letter/application and your cause has resonated with them.  A proper thank you reply to their inquiry respects the person’s interest and effort.
  • Unless you cross-reference your data files, assume that every applicant is a past or potential donor, volunteer or goodwill ambassador. It’s always good to have a new friend.
  • Consider the time it takes to review an application, enter data into your system and provide a genuine and timely response. Today’s data and email tools make the response process easy, inexpensive and far less time-consuming than in the past.
  • Commit to the belief that every opportunity to engage with individuals is a positive opportunity for your charity and conveys a message of mutual value and respect.
  • Elevating your charity’s brand while building goodwill is always a good thing.

As a final thought, What would be the reaction if a charity communicated, Only those donors contributing over $100 will be contacted? I dare say the charity of choice would erode.

Let’s apply the same gratitude principle to employment applicants as we do with donors and volunteers. There is no telling where a simple gesture of gratitude will take you.

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