Three things we learnt about attracting charity digital talent

Prospectus explains what the results of their recent survey of charity digital jobseekers reveal about attracting the tech-savvy talent that charities need.

Guest Writer | 7th May 19

This article was written by Andy Tonner, Head of Business Development at Prospectus – one of the UK’s leading recruitment specialists for the nonprofit industry. Founded in 1956, Prospectus places over 2,000 people a year across all levels in their ideal role.

On the look out for your next digitally-skilled hire? Check out Charity Digital Jobs – a new platform launched by Prospectus and Charity Digital News to help charities find the best digital talent.


The 2018 Charity Digital Skills report recorded that ‘digital skills’ is the second greatest challenge and barrier charities face when getting the most from digital, yet 84% of people want to work for a charity that is progressing in this area. So, how can charities attract the talent they need to continue their digital evolution?

We recently undertook a survey on Charity Digital Jobs to give jobseekers an opportunity to tell us what is important in their job search, and received over 450 responses.

What is the most important thing to you when looking for a new role?

Image shows results from Prospectus survey question 'What is the most important thing to you when looking for a new role?'

These responses came from the Charity Digital Jobs audience, which is made up of digitally talent talent from both in and out the charity sector. So, it is reassuring for charities to see that their mission and cause sits as the highest motivation for job seekers, followed by agile working and culture.

Therefore, if you’re looking to attract that next digital hire, here are three quick steps you can take to help you on that path.


Focus on mission

With the increase in digital activity across the sector, it means that the boundaries of what would traditionally be thought of as a digital role is shifting. Digital doesn’t work in a silo; instead, these skills are being embedded at all levels across all organisations.

However, finding these skilled candidates can often be a challenge for charities. This is not helped by the preconception that digitally savvy candidates are driven only by salary and training opportunities and not by mission/ cause, or that they are more interested in those organisations that are already ‘digitally mature.’

Don’t be afraid to put your mission at the front and centre of your recruitment efforts, as our survey shows us this is what candidates are looking for! Making your charities mission and cause clear from the start will help you attract talent that is aligned with your ambitions.


Be flexible

Agile working empowers staff to be able to work from anywhere, anytime in a way which suits them. With more and more organisations recognising this as an important factor in their staff wellbeing, it is important for charities to consider how they can accommodate their team’s needs.

It is becoming more popular for organisations to approach an on/off working culture, with them instilling trust in their team members, whether that be through offering flexible working hours, condensed working days or the ability to work from home. A big part of being able to approach this culture is to have the technology to support it. So if you can offer this flexibility, make sure you show this clearly when looking to find new talent.

Get networking

Social media is a great tool to use to really evidence your employer branding and highlight your culture. Encouraging involvement from your staff supports your organisational activity and increases your reach to different audiences.

Also, have a look at the latest digital and tech events (there are plenty out there), but remember you do not need to attend with a view of recruiting. Sending any member of staff to an event gives them a chance to up skill as well as networking with individuals from other sectors, which in turn will increase your reach. Charity Digital News, NPC and CharityComms run several events that are worth a look.