October 11, 2023

Recruiters Always Failed My Nonprofit–Now I’m a Nonprofit Recruiter

I used to lead a large faith-based nonprofit.  
In that season, my leadership team and I cashed in every relational chip we had to bring in great talent, but eventually our connections ran dry, and we decided to start outsourcing recruiting help. 
The first time we used a recruiter, we paid the full fee upfront, they sent us lackluster talent, and eventually we found our person outside of the recruiter’s efforts. 
A year later, we had another key opening and decided to give outsourcing a second try. Sadly, we had almost identical results and found our candidate of choice outside the recruiter’s pipeline. 
We tried one more time and, once again, did not come away with a candidate (but the recruiter received his full fee). 
From that point forward, I was done using recruiters. Why? Because I’d never had a positive experience.  
Now, as an executive recruiter myself, I understand why leaders (especially nonprofit leaders) would rather not work with someone like me. They’ve had bad experiences in the past. They don’t want to pay to find talent. 
Even more, they don’t want to pay and not find talent. 
When I work with clients, I keep my experiences at the forefront of my mind. I make it a conviction that, if I’m hired to lead a search process, I will communicate with my client well, work the search with pride as though it’s my own nonprofit, and finally (and most importantly) I will fill every search for which I am entrusted to recruit.  
If you’re a nonprofit leader considering outsourcing recruiting help, don’t settle. There are great recruiters out there and you deserve one who cares about your mission and takes your search personally. 


Ryan Rasmussen

Ryan Rasmussen

Ryan is as member of ThinkingAhead’s NonProfit Practice, with a focus on faith-based, relief, and social justice organizations. A Kentucky native, he and his wife...

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