The benefits of using a specialist recruiter for charity roles

7 Minutes
Donovan Whittaker

By Donovan Whittaker

With issues such as inflation, funding cuts, and skills shortages posing significant challenges for the charity sector, charities and non-profits are looking for ways to adapt their hiring strategies to attract and retain top talent. It is essential that charity employees and volunteers are not only passionate about the cause they represent, but also possess the required expertise to help their charities thrive despite these difficulties. This is where a specialist recruiter can lend their expert support. 

If you are a charity or non-profit organisation looking for exceptional talent to further your mission and steer you toward success, then using a specialist recruiter may be the perfect hiring method for you.  In this blog, we’ll look at the pain points currently affecting the sector and explore the various benefits that a specialist recruiter, such as TPP Recruitment, can provide for charities and job seekers. 

Charity Recruitment Challenges Faced by Employers and Job Seekers

Communities throughout the UK are becoming increasingly reliant on charities and non-profit organisations to make ends meet. As socio-economic problems like inflation and the cost-of-living crisis rage on, the voluntary sector's vital work will take on even greater significance. However, sector-wide recruitment challenges threaten to prevent charities from supporting the communities they serve.

Research carried out by Pro Bono Economics and Nottingham Trent University found that 83% of charities have experienced difficulties filling vacancies, a stark statistic highlighting the extent of the sector’s recruitment woes. The research also indicated a chronic shortage of candidates, poor staff retention rates, and a lack of diversity are making it ever more difficult for charities and non-profit organisations to hire high-calibre applicants. 

As charities continue to feel the economic pressures, many don’t have the budget to recruit, leading to a tight job market and increased competition for those vying for the most attractive positions. 

Why Charities Should Use a Specialist Recruiter

While these recruitment challenges show no sign of abating any time soon, there are strategies that charities can implement to boost their odds of hiring and retaining top-notch candidates. Using a specialist recruiter for sourcing candidates is a tried and tested method of hiring outstanding applicants. Choosing to outsource your talent acquisition strategy to a recruitment agency with expertise in the charity sector offers numerous advantages, including:  

1. Saves Money

Charities that opt for conducting their own in-house recruitment processes may believe that this is a low-cost alternative to using a specialist recruiter. However, while they may make initial savings, this method may prove to be expensive in the long term. The costs of hiring the wrong person and having to restart the hiring process can be significant. In fact, according to research conducted by Oxford Economics and income protection service Unum, the average cost of replacing an outgoing staff member is £30,614. 

Instead, a specialist recruiter will be able to provide you with a high-quality candidate from their vast talent networks, thereby reducing the risk of a bad hire. They’ll take the time to understand the specifics of your job vacancy, and with this knowledge, they’ll seek out candidates who meet all the requirements.

2. Access to a Wider Talent Pool

Another advantage is that they have the means to reach out to a wider pool of potential candidates. As well as having comprehensive databases of job seekers looking to further their careers in the charity sector, they'll also be able to make connections with candidates who aren’t necessarily actively looking for new positions but may be interested if the right role crops up with the right organisation. Research shows that passive candidates account for 73% of the applicant pool available to recruiters, a figure that demonstrates the extent to which a specialist recruiter is able to cast their net in the hunt for top talent. At TPP, we can attest to this statistic, and our high referral rate is an achievement we are proud of.  

3. Expertise in Charity Recruitment

Not only can specialist recruiters connect you with a vast pool of talent and cut hiring costs by up to 30% overall, but they can also provide you with expert insights on trends and developments in charity recruitment. Charities that choose to go it alone with their recruitment may be too busy to keep on top of all the latest news from the charity and non-profit recruitment space, they can provide much-needed expertise and keep you up to date with issues, trends, and opportunities in charity recruitment, ensuring that you can make informed decisions about your talent acquisition strategy. 

4. Greater Ability to Respond to Community Needs

A top priority for any charity is to ensure that employees and volunteers are committed to contributing to the success of their mission. For this to work, it is crucial that the right people are brought in, a task that a specialist recruiter will be capable of carrying out. They’ll assess candidates on their dedication to charitable causes as well as their personal and professional skills and potential. With a team dedicated to furthering your mission, you’ll be able to better respond to the needs of the communities you serve. 

5. Efficient Hiring Process That Saves You Time

Recruiting top talent can be a lengthy and laborious process, and many charities simply do not have enough time to conduct a hiring process to the best of their abilities. Assistance from a specialist recruiter will save you valuable time, allowing you to concentrate on your charitable duties rather than devote precious hours to recruitment tasks like advertising, searching, and screening. Your specialist recruiter will manage an effective and supportive process on your behalf , and when it comes to final interviews with your shortlisted candidates, they can even guide you about the questions to ask. 

How Specialist Recruiters Can Help Job Seekers for Charity Roles 

We have delved into the numerous ways specialist recruiters can assist charities in recruiting stand-out candidates, but those of you thinking about looking for a new opportunity in the voluntary sector may be asking yourselves this question: can specialist recruiters help job seekers too? The simple answer to that question is yes, a dedicated recruiter who knows the charity sector inside and out will be able to assist you in landing your ideal role. Here are the top reasons why you should use a specialist recruiter: 

  • More job opportunities. As a job seeker looking for a new role on your own, your choice of opportunities is limited to standard channels, such as job boards and social media. In contrast, specialist recruiters have relationships with a wide range of clients, many of whom may offer charity roles that are unavailable elsewhere. Your specialist recruiter can connect you directly with the employer if you meet all the requirements. This can give you a significant advantage over other job seekers, as you’ll know about upcoming positions without having to pursue the job boards. 
  • Saves time. We all know how time-consuming a job hunt can be. From endlessly scrolling through job boards to filling out applications in meticulous detail, it can significantly eat into your free time. Using a top recruiter with expert knowledge of the charity recruitment space is an ideal way to save time that could be spent preparing for job interviews. As specialists in connecting candidates with jobs that suit their skill sets, they’ll be able to find you a role that matches your attributes and ambitions in a relatively short time frame. 
  • Greater networking pool. Candidates who are switching industries and transitioning into the charity sector may not yet have the sort of network required to hear about the latest opportunities. Going it alone and purely relying on your CV and cover letter to get you noticed is not the most effective way to make those meaningful professional connections. Instead, you’ll be able to gain access to a much wider network of potential employers through a specialist recruiter.
  • Expert insights into the charity sector. Whether you are new to the sector or you are an experienced charity worker, it is always beneficial to gain experts insights into the trends and developments of charity recruitment. When you work with a recruitment agency, your consultant can provide you with in-depth market knowledge that’ll help you better understand what to look for during your job hunt. They’ll also be able to tell you all about the organisation that you apply for, from what their hiring manager is looking for to their reputation. Recruiters also recognise exceptional talent in candidates who may not feel self-assured enough in their abilities to apply for certain roles. With your unique skill set in mind, they’ll give you the confidence to pursue opportunities that elevate your career. 
  • Continuous recruitment support. Your relationship with your specialist recruiter doesn’t have to stop as soon as you’ve landed your dream charity role. On the contrary, maintaining a productive relationship is within your and your recruiter’s interests. From your perspective, you may wish to reconnect with them if and when you decide to move on from the charity job they helped you secure. Equally, it is within the recruiter’s interest to support you to integrate into your new role and become a successful hire. 
Final Thoughts

In the face of ongoing challenges, the charity and non-profit sector can find hope in the expertise and support offered by working with a specialist recruiter. By leveraging these resources, both employers and job seekers can contribute to the sector's growth and make a meaningful difference in the lives of those they serve. So, whether you are a charity seeking top talent or a job seeker looking for your next opportunity in the voluntary sector, embracing the assistance of a specialist recruiter can lead you toward achieving your goals and fulfilling your mission.

For charities, using a specialist recruiter saves costs, grants access to a wider talent pool, and provides expert insights into charity recruitment trends. This ensures they find committed individuals who can respond to community needs efficiently, driving their missions forward.

Job seekers benefit from specialist recruiters with more opportunities, time savings, expanded networking options, and continuous support throughout the recruitment process. Embracing the services of these recruiters can lead to success in finding the right match for rewarding charity roles.

Our Passion for Charity Recruitment 

At TPP, we are dedicated to connecting the best candidates with all-important non-profit and charity roles. We have been serving job seekers and organisations alike since 1996, and our best-in-class recruitment services have earned us an esteemed reputation. 

If you’d like to learn more about how we support our clients and candidates, be sure to pay a visit to our job seekers and employers webpages. Our consultants look forward to helping you with your recruitment needs, so feel free to reach out to us whenever is convenient for you.

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