Executive Talent Search & Digital Marketing for Mission-Driven Organizations | Rethinking Job Descriptions: 4 Ways to Attract the Best Talent

Rethinking Job Descriptions: 4 Ways to Attract the Best Talent

Recruiting a new leader for your organization is one of the most important things you will do, directly affecting the organization’s success and impact for years to come. And the one thing I have seen most hiring teams completely overlook is the importance of a strong job description document. Think you can just copy text from a prior job description, or something you found on the internet? Think again.


A thoughtful job description can attract qualified individuals who are not only suitable for the role but also deeply passionate about your nonprofit’s mission. On the flip side, a hastily composed job description can lead to months of fruitless searching for the right candidate, with hundreds (or thousands!) of applications from people who are a poor fit. Let’s delve into four practical ways to optimize your job description and ensure you’re attracting the right candidates.

Compelling Company Description

The Problem: Often, job descriptions feature generic, uninspiring company descriptions lifted from the organization’s website or copied from prior job searches.


The Solution: Invest time in crafting a compelling narrative that showcases your nonprofit’s mission, reach, and impact. Highlight your unique value proposition and the positive change your organization is dedicated to achieving. By doing so, you capture candidates’ attention and inspire them to be part of something meaningful. Your organization’s story is a powerful recruitment tool.

Conveying the Desired Personality Profile:

The Problem: Standard job descriptions often focus solely on technical skills, education/experience, and other concrete qualifications, overlooking the candidate’s personality and strengths needed for success.


The Solution: Paint a vivid picture of the personality traits and strengths you’re seeking in a candidate. Do you require a strategic thinker, a mentor, a finance-savvy professional, a storyteller, a team harmonizer, or an exceptional leader in external relations? By showcasing these desired traits and skills, you create a more comprehensive profile of the ideal candidate. This helps pique the interest of the right applicants who align with your organization’s culture and values. It also helps you think through this vital component so your hiring team knows what to look for during interviews.

Highlighting Desired Achievements:

The Problem: Most job descriptions merely list tasks and responsibilities, removing you from the mindset of finding an impactful leader and leaving candidates with only a vague impression of the results to which they will be held accountable.


The Solution: Shift the focus to what you expect the candidate to achieve within the first 12 months of the role. Clearly articulate specific goals and objectives. This not only helps candidates envision their potential impact but also reflects your organization’s commitment to results-oriented work. By emphasizing desired achievements, you attract candidates motivated by challenging goals and driven to make a tangible difference.

Showcasing Your Commitment to Employee Development

The Problem: Competition for top talent is fierce, and nothing is setting your job description apart when potential applicants read it.


The Solution: Job seekers, especially in the nonprofit sector, value opportunities for personal and professional advancement. Mention your organization’s dedication to ongoing training, mentorship programs, and career progression within the nonprofit. This reassures candidates that joining your nonprofit isn’t just about a job but a career that offers continuous learning and growth opportunities.


Crafting an effective job description is an indispensable step in attracting the right candidates to your nonprofit organization. Take the time to carefully compose your company description, emphasizing your unique mission and impact. Paint a vivid picture of the ideal candidate’s personality and strengths. Shift the focus from tasks to desired achievements, setting clear goals that inspire candidates. And don’t forget to showcase your commitment to employee development. Remember, a well-crafted job description not only attracts qualified candidates but also presents your nonprofit as an inspiring and fulfilling place to work. Failing to invest in this crucial step can lead to a frustrating search process that drags on for months without finding the right fit.


About Us

If you want to discuss how to recruit transformational leaders for your organization, reach out to me at nshah@ManevaGroup.com.  We will schedule a no-cost, no obligation 30-minute consultation to discuss how to meet your goals. 

Maneva Group is a woman and minority owned national executive search firm focused on hiring impactful leaders for mission-driven organizations. We have expertise in completely managing the recruiting process, curating diverse and exceptionally qualified candidate pools, and advising C-suite executives and board members through crucial hiring decisions. 

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