Charity sector jobs: navigating the economic landscape part 2

6 minutes
TPP Recruitment

By TPP Recruitment

Since 2019, the charity sector, like many other industries, has experienced a variety of challenges both due to internal problems and external impacts. But what happens when external issues like societal or economic uncertainty are so significant that they impact nearly every aspect of charity recruitment and activities? How do we overcome these challenges in the most sustainable way possible to ensure recruitment success? 

How do we navigate an economic landscape that is now hardly ever predictable to ensure success in the sector overall? 

In part 1 of this guide, we discussed the wider issue of the economy and how this is impacting the charity sector in 2024. In part 2, we will explore how to weather through the storm of economic uncertainty, giving your charity specific strategies to overcome wider societal issues, including: 

  • Diversifying revenue streams 
  • Enhancing value proposition
  • Thinking of long-term goals 
  • Ensuring diverse talent acquisition

How to thrive during economic uncertainty 

While resolving an economic crisis may be beyond our reach, organisations can implement specific strategies to minimise its negative impact and maintain the ability to attract, recruit, and retain exceptional talent. Doing so supports the economy, and individuals are provided with outstanding opportunities

Here are the top strategies charities should adopt to navigate and overcome recruitment challenges within the charity sector job market during broader industry impacts:

Diversifying revenue streams

As we have already established, funding can be affected during economic crises. In times of turbulence, charities often find themselves grappling with uncertain financial landscapes, making it imperative to diversify revenue streams. Relying solely on traditional donations can be risky, as economic downturns may lead to decreased philanthropic giving. To mitigate this risk and ensure financial stability, charities need to explore alternative funding sources.

Enhancing value proposition

In today's competitive environment, filled with financial insecurity and other societal issues, a charity's success heavily relies on its ability to distinguish itself and resonate with donors and potential employees.

A unified brand story and clear value proposition are essential in achieving this. They engage supporters, encourage lasting commitment, demonstrate the impact of involvement, and echo the benefits of charity sector jobs, which is particularly important during economic uncertainty.

A strong brand and compelling value proposition can collaborate to:

  • Attract passionate talent: Spark interest in individuals passionate about the cause, leading to long-term involvement in the charity sector. Studies show that 74% of employees find their jobs more fulfilling when given the chance to positively impact social and environmental issues.
  • Highlight the positive impact: Showcase the chance to positively impact social and environmental issues, appealing to a significant portion of the workforce seeking such fulfilment in their careers.
  • Effectively communicate mission and values: Underscore the importance of clearly communicating the charity's mission and values to attract mission-driven candidates in the charity recruitment space.
  • Enhance the perceived value of charity careers: To increase appeal during hardship, enhance the perceived value of charity sector jobs even in financially challenging times.
  • Illustrate impact and effectiveness: Demonstrate the impact and effectiveness of the charity's work, building trust and attracting top talent seeking purposeful work. Research also suggests that 20% of individuals have turned down job offers due to misaligned values with the company's ESG commitments.

Promoting your charity's positive work culture, supportive environment, and opportunities for professional growth can address concerns about job security and workplace well-being. Setting clear goals and messages can attract like-minded individuals who align with your charity's values, simplifying charity recruitment. 

Follow these steps to effectively promote your charity's value and brand during economic challenges:

Creating your unique value proposition (UVP):

  • Tailor your message to resonate with different audience segments, ensuring it addresses their needs and concerns.
  • Highlight the personal growth and satisfaction from volunteering, which is especially crucial during economic hardships, providing individuals with a sense of purpose and fulfilment during challenges.
  • Emphasise non-monetary benefits to attract individuals seeking meaningful work, offering them the opportunity to contribute to a cause they believe in, even amidst a cost-of-living crisis.
  • Voice the benefits your organisation offers to compete with other sectors for successful charity recruitment, showcasing the unique opportunities for personal and professional growth within the charity sector.

Brand building:

  • Clearly define your charity's mission, vision, values, and personality to create a distinct identity that resonates with your audience.
  • Tell impactful stories about your charity's work to connect with your audience emotionally and demonstrate the real-world impact of their support.
  • Maintain consistent messaging across online and offline channels to reinforce your brand identity and effectively communicate your mission and values to potential funders and employees.

By adopting a branding strategy, creating a compelling value proposition, and recruiting passionate supporters, your charity can enhance its appeal to potential talent. Authenticity and transparency are crucial for building trust and meaningful connections with your community.

Thinking of long-term goals 

Strategic planning for the long term is becoming increasingly crucial for organisational resilience and sustainability. It ensures charities adapt to changing environments and continue fulfilling their missions effectively. By proactively addressing financial sustainability, recruitment resilience, and effective recruitment practices, charities can position themselves for long-term success.

Let’s explore this in more depth. 

Financial sustainability

Research indicates that 76% of employees prioritise organisations that offer competitive benefits packages, underlining the importance of financial planning in attracting top talent. Financial sustainability is vital for the continuance of charity sector jobs. By adjusting salaries and benefits to align with the cost of living and diversifying funding sources beyond traditional donations, charities can attract and retain exceptional talent. 

Recruitment resilience

Recruitment resilience is essential for charities to attract and retain exceptional talent in the competitive job market. Providing job-related training and development opportunities, highlighting the social impact of charity sector jobs, and supporting a supportive work environment enhance recruitment efforts.

In our recent salary survey, we asked respondents what their top motivators were for looking for a new job. 18% of these respondents said they would actively search for a new role with training and development opportunities. 

Building relationships

Building solid relationships with educational institutions and professional networks is essential for sourcing exceptional talent in charity recruitment. Engaging with these networks allows charities to access a diverse pool of candidates and stay connected with industry trends and best practices. 

Recent data indicates that 80% of job openings are filled through networking, highlighting the importance of building and maintaining relationships in recruitment efforts.

Effective recruitment practices

Effective recruitment practices are crucial for attracting and retaining exceptional talent in charity sector jobs. Acknowledging all applicants, providing personalised feedback, and setting realistic job expectations demonstrate respect for candidates and enhance the organisation's reputation. 

According to industry insights, organisations prioritising candidate experience are twice as likely to hire top talent, highlighting the importance of effective recruitment practices.

By learning from past challenges and proactively addressing future uncertainties, charities can build resilience and ensure the continued success of charity sector jobs. These efforts ensure competitiveness, sustainability, and attractiveness to outstanding talent.

Ensuring diverse talent acquisition 

Diverse recruitment aligns with ethical principles and offers several benefits to organisational resilience and performance.

Here’s why:

Attracting & retaining staff

Diversifying boards and Trustees is pivotal for ensuring that charities reflect the communities they serve. Effective communication of values and support for well-being enhance attraction and retention strategies. Research indicates that organisations with diverse leadership teams are 33% more likely to outperform their competitors, underscoring the impact of diversity in recruitment efforts.

Benefits of diverse perspectives

A diverse volunteer base brings varied experiences and viewpoints, fostering creative problem-solving. Understanding community needs is crucial; diverse volunteers offer insights leading to targeted programs. Charities prioritising diversity and inclusion experience 36% higher employee retention.

Building inclusivity and engagement

Welcoming environments signal that all contributions are valued, fostering engagement among volunteers and staff. A diverse and inclusive environment increases the likelihood of attracting individuals deeply committed to your mission due to shared values and identities.

Leveraging technology streamlines recruitment processes, helping charities reach a broader talent pool. 

But how do charities of all sizes go about gaining the benefits of diverse hiring?

  • Inclusive Job Postings: Craft job descriptions with inclusive language to attract candidates prioritising organisational values and mission alignment over monetary compensation. Inclusive language in job postings has been shown to increase applications from underrepresented groups by 30%, significantly widening the talent pool.
  • Blind Screening: Implement blind CV screening to mitigate unconscious biases in the initial selection process. Blind recruitment processes can increase the likelihood of hiring women and minority candidates by up to 60%, ensuring fairer evaluations and enhancing diversity in the workforce.
  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Offer flexible work schedules and remote options to accommodate diverse needs amplified by a cost-of-living crisis. Approximately 80% of job seekers consider flexibility a crucial factor when evaluating job opportunities, emphasising the attractiveness of flexible work arrangements, even when salary offerings are modest.

These strategies enhance the diversity of talent and contribute to creating an inclusive work environment, ultimately strengthening the organisation's ability to coordinate economic challenges and attract top talent to charity sector jobs.

Overcoming hiring challenges in charity sector jobs: final thoughts

Economic uncertainties have and will continue to impact the non-profit sector and charity sector jobs in some form, but it’s clear that resilience is the key to success. With these strategies, charities can build a stronger foundation to withstand economic fluctuation. 

At TPP, we've partnered with many charities to explore a range of funding avenues, enabling the connection of non-profits with fundraising specialists skilled in securing funds from various sources. If your non-profit requires funding advice, get in touch with us today

Ensuring successful and diverse charity recruitment 

Since our inception in 1996, TPP has been a leading provider of bespoke recruitment services for clients and candidates. Whether you need assistance finding seasoned professionals for key charity sector jobs or support hiring for other positions, we're dedicated to guiding you through the recruitment process from start to finish. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your organisation's recruitment goals. 

  • 020 7198 6000
  • TPP Recruitment, Northern & Shell Building, 4th Floor, 10 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AF