Budget is tight, talent is scarce and you need incredible people to deliver your services. Sound familiar?

We’ve put together some ideas to help you engage with candidates creatively and cost-effectively…

1. Create a candidate blog

Consider establishing an engaging blog for your careers site. Use it to provide an insight into your organisation’s culture and your work. If you don’t have an in-house marketing function or creative agency, search amongst your own team for talent. Scope out what time and writing skills are available, and put together a manageable content plan.

2. Highlight your expertise

By writing your own content, you’ll be able to position your organisation in a truly positive light. You can establish yourself as a credible expert in your field and instil confidence in your candidates.

3. Embrace different social platforms

Use various social channels to connect with and reach certain demographics, and to reflect different elements of your culture. Got an adorable office dog? Why not set up your own Instagram? #Instapooch

4. Present ‘A Day in the Life’

Share videos or articles from members of your team. This kind of content can forge a real connection with candidates and offers a rare, authentic insight into life working with you.

5. Share the stories behind your cause

As a not-for-profit organisation, it’s likely you have a compelling story to tell, and a cause people can really get behind.  Make an impact on candidates by demonstrating the results of your work, and showcasing what they could help to deliver.

6. Promote your staff benefits

Engage candidates by promoting your range of staff benefits. If you can’t offer the same perks as corporate firms, focus instead on the unique things you can provide. Maybe it’s your commitment to training and career development, your relaxed working culture or your approach to employee volunteering and CSR initiatives.

7. Focus on room for progression

Demonstrate your commitment to career progression, training and development through your careers site and in your job descriptions. This will tap into candidates’ drive and ambition.

8. Showcase your volunteer accreditations

When we say ‘candidates’, we’re not just talking about paid staff. Volunteers are the backbone of many not-for-profit organisations. Encourage applications by demonstrating the value you place on them through initiatives such as ‘Investing in Volunteers’ or by offering relevant training and support.

9. Value your volunteers

Alongside formal accreditations, promote the integral role volunteers play in your organisation through case studies, stories, quotes and images.

10. Invest in your application process

A lengthy or disjointed application process can lead to significant candidate drop-out rates. Consider your candidates’ journey and how you can streamline it for a more efficient process. Keep application forms as simple and short as possible, and perhaps consider a two-stage process if you require a lot of candidate documentation or robust processes.

11. Implement ATS recruitment technology

Provide an online application process to deliver a better experience for your candidates. ATS technology will also enable you to understand where candidates are dropping out of the process so you can make improvement to certain areas.

12. Encourage job alerts

Offer candidates the chance to sign up for relevant job alerts, based on role, location, salary and more.

13. Build talent pools

If you have an ATS, start creating talent pools based on skill, experience, or other relevant criteria. Maintain engagement with these passive candidates through newsletters, your careers social account or job alerts.

14. Enter awards!

Reinforce your reputation as a leader in your field – and a desirable place to work – by entering awards schemes. Some are free to enter, so can be a fantastic, cost-effective way to raise your profile and promote yourself positively to potential candidates.


An engaging careers site is essential to connect with top talent, so the team at Hireserve have put together this short guide to help you get your careers site right from start to finish. Trusted by charities and third sector organisations, from international charities to housing associations, Hireserve creates recruitment software with a human touch.



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