5 Tools To Attract Top Candidates

In almost every recent career survey we’ve seen, compensation is not the number one reason people join an organization.

5 Tools To Attract Top Candidates


In almost every recent career survey we’ve seen, compensation is not the number one reason people join an organization. Of course high salaries and bonuses can be attractive, but the reality is that this is not the most attractive or important element candidates are looking for in today’s job market.

The good news for churches and nonprofit organizations is that many of the primary factors candidates take into consideration, can be implemented without much impact to the organization’s bottom line.


Here are 5 tools for attracting top candidates…

  1. Champion An Inspiring Mission

In today's market people want to do work that matters and ideally work that overlaps with their own personal mission. Make sure that your organization has a clear and compelling mission. Candidates want to work somewhere that is vision-driven and has a contagious mission. Be sure that your job postings, social media channels and other communication elements show job seekers the exciting vision that your organization is working towards. Highlight stories of life change and impact because of the work that your organization does. Seeing a workplace that has energy and purpose is incredibly important to attract great candidates.


  1. Craft A Healthy Culture

Though work culture can feel intangible and hard to define, its impact on a workplace is very palpable. Strive to ensure that your organization reflects health and positivity. When candidates ask around, what will they hear about the work environment? Do employees have each other's back? Is leadership respected and trusted? Do staff assume the best about one another and avoid gossip? Is the workplace fun and supportive of work-life balance?

The reality is that your organization will get a reputation for its work culture - either as a positive place to work or one that prospective employees should avoid. This side of the great resignation, people won’t settle for a bad culture. People are looking for positive, engaging, healthy workplace cultures and the sad reality is that this can be hard to find. If your organization creates a healthy culture word will spread and it will help magnetize great talent.


  1. Articulate Clear Goals

Though having a clear job description is important, that’s just the start. While ensuring the role is clearly defined, it’s additionally important to help candidates understand what winning in their position looks like. Take the time to highlight important milestones that a great hire should deliver. What does success look like in 30 days, 90 days, or by the end of their first year? People want to know the goal and have a scoreboard to help them keep track of their success. If that’s left ambiguous, new hires will feel confused or at worst discouraged.

When candidates look at your job posting and your company culture and realize that there are clear definitions of success, that will speak volumes about your organization. People want to know what is expected of them and how to meet or even exceed those objectives. Additionally, when those measures of success are tied back to the organization’s vision, people feel their work directly contributes to moving a meaningful mission forward.


  1. Offer Creative, Compelling Benefits

Since COVID and the great resignation, organizations have become increasingly creative when it comes to the benefits they offer. While some benefits inevitably cost money to provide, many organizations have found creative benefits that are cost effective for the bottom line. The reality is that the default list of health insurance, vacation, etc are simply givens in today's job market. Offering a standard package won’t help your positions stand out or help you hire top talent.

The best way to identify compelling benefits is to reverse engineer this process. Rather than thinking of applicants as selling their resume to you, think about selling your organization to applicants. What can you offer that would attract the type of candidates who would be drawn to your mission? Maybe in addition to vacation you offer days off to volunteer or the organization matches a percentage of an employee’s annual salary and donates it to a charity of their choice. Increasingly important for many candidates is work-hour flexibility and remote or hybrid options.

During COVID many organizations discovered no productivity losses despite people working from home or even reducing work-week hours. Consider offering remote working options or 4 day work weeks. Some organizations have encouraged work-life balance by providing small allotments for staff to enjoy a day out with their spouse or family. Unlimited PTO is also a very attractive option for many candidates. Ultimately, be creative and realize that you can often experiment and try a new benefit out for a period of time to see if it works before officially implementing it.


5. Provide Competitive Pay

Though competitive pay is not the top factor for candidates, it is still important. People want to be paid fairly and competitively for the work they do. Be sure to talk with colleagues, look at annual salary guides, or even have professional consultants occasionally assess your organization’s employee compensation. Certainly take into consideration the size and location of your organization. Ultimately, compensation should be seen as an investment. By attracting strong employees your organization will be healthier and achieve or exceed its annual goals faster. Offering competitive pay and attracting strong candidates will ultimately move your mission forward faster than settling for less qualified candidates.