Hiring can be just plain tough. Sometimes you think you have it nailed, and the prospective new employee lasts a month. Or maybe, you can’t find the right candidate to start. And, then, when you find one, they always seem to operate at less than optimally. It feels like the search process goes on and on like a revolving door.
So, what are some things that you should be looking out for?
Here are my Top 10 “Finding the Right Fundraising Hire Red Flag” list.
- The candidate is willing to bring past contacts or use them in service towards your organization. Just not ethical. Not at all. Think again about bringing on this “Donor Swapper.” You wouldn’t want them doing the same to your organization.
- Don’t hire someone who consistently has less than three years of experience on their resume. The key here is consistency. I mean, a person can have an “off” job tenure or may have moved geographically. But, if you consistently see a “job hopper,” at least begin to question this person’s commitment. Just bad for donor relationships. Yes, they want the job but don’t want to do the work.
- Don’t underestimate someone who has a history of overstepping their boundaries. Ask questions that delve into how they deal with boundaries or don’t. Important. Do you want this person making decisions for you or maybe even signing contracts when you happen to be the CEO?
- Don’t overlook the importance of values. No matter what their skill level is. Even if they are at the tippy top of their field, their values need to match the organization’s, especially when working with donors and making “value matches.”
- A resume that is full of glitz and gold can outshine many but yet when put into action can stall and sputter like an engine running out of oil. Check what is really under the “hood” by doing your due diligence and getting the reconnaissance on actual performance. Don’t skip the reference checks. And, use your networks.
- Watch for words such as, “YOUR team…” or “I suggest YOU do this.” We all want team players, and fundraising is a team sport. If the person you are seeking to hire makes statements such as this, be sure to check out their TEAM inclinations. This person should be willing to “take one for the team.”
- The person talks about commitment but doesn’t put it into action. If you have to cajole or convince someone as to the reasons why they should be considering your organization, it’s time to reconsider. It should not take an “Act of God” to move this person to come on board. You want a person who says what they are going to do and does it without belaboring the point.
- Don’t just place an ad on a job board. As they say, you get what you pay for. Network, network, network to find the best candidates. We all know about the “hidden” job market; well, find your best-hidden talent within your networks. And, be working your networks – all the time.
- It doesn’t always have to be a CFRE. Sometimes what your organization needs is someone who can write or meet with people. A CFRE doesn’t guarantee those soft skills. Think out of the box. Don’t overlook other skills that may be relevant such as “sales.” Yes, I said it. Sales.
- Be sure not to discredit that drunken picture of them on their cruise. Yep, you know the one that I am talking about. The one on Facebook. Yep. I know, it’s a cruise. Be wary of what one posts about themself. What is posted says something about your candidate and or doesn’t. But, review their online presence as much as or even more than their resume.
And, there you have it, my Top 10 “Finding the Right Fundraising Hire Red Flag” list.
How do I know? As they say, education makes you wise, but experience makes you even wiser.
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