Where to post (and find) nonprofit jobs

Last spring Blue Avocado published a detailed report on nonprofit job sites—services that provide online job postings in the nonprofit sector. The reviewer, Tom Battin, studied, reviewed, and rated national and regional sites that exclusively provide nonprofit job listings and those that include a substantial number of nonprofit jobs.

Battin rated 31 sites from both the employer’s and the jobseeker’s perspective, naming Idealist the best all-around site, OpportunityKnocks the best nonprofit site, and Simply Hired the best commercial site.

If you’re searching for a nonprofit job, about to start recruiting, or haven’t found the candidates you want, Blue Avocado’s list is a good place to start. Each site is described in terms of ease of navigation, free vs. paid services, numbers of job listings, and whether it posts jobs directly from employers or aggregates jobs posted elsewhere. The list also cites additional jobseeker tools to create cover letters, set up alerts for new listings, and track applications. Some sites allow employers to search resumes and purchase recruitment services as well.

Should you even post your job opening on a national site? Some nonprofit leaders hesitate to post jobs on  Idealist and OpportunityKnocks because they don’t think the job is “big enough” to attract candidates to move from another location. But keep in mind that jobseekers move for all kinds of reasons besides a paycheck—for a spouse’s job, to be near aging parents or new grandkids, or for the love of barbecue. Also, local talent may be looking for the right opportunity in a wider market because they haven’t found it in yours…yet.

In addition to dedicated job websites, you’ll want to increase effective exposure by publicizing your job opening through more targeted channels. We recommend:

1. Nonprofit associations, like ours. Alliance members get free job listings on our site, and non-members pay $65. Our website gets thousands of hits each month by visitors from all over the Mid-South.

2. Field-specific listservs and newsletters. If your organization is part of a national coalition, membership association, or trade organization, send your posting to its listserv or member newsletter. If job candidates are likely to belong to a professional society (like the Association of Fundraising Professionals or the American Dietetic Association,) look for their job listing services as well. Don’t forget issue-area listservs and Facebook groups through which you’d find candidates who are passionate about your cause.

3. Consultants and consulting networks. Just because someone is working as a consultant doesn’t mean they’re not open to the right staff opportunity. If you’ve worked with a really good grant writer or HR consultant, or hear of someone who has, let them know you’re looking. Circulate the job posting to consulting firms as well (but be clear in the description you are hiring for a staff member, not a contractor.)

4. Academic departments at local colleges and universities. Sure, you can send your posting to Career Services. But don’t forget about faculty, staff, graduate students, research assistants, alumni, and others. Most academic departments have their own internal listservs that reach a wide group of current and former associates. Need a communications director? Let English and journalism departments know. A policy analyst? Get in touch with the political science folks. A health educator? Send the posting directly to the School of Public Health.

5. Your own website. Don’t hide job announcements deep in About > People > Opportunities. Put a button on your front page that says “We’re hiring a development director” and links to a detailed description. Also post the information on emails, blogs, your Facebook page, and Twitter.

Next week, tips for effective job descriptions and some great examples.

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