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The Strategic Advantages of Charities Utilising a Retained Employment Agency for Key Hires

Article Background

Why a charity or NFP organisation might consider retaining a recruitment agency for key hires.

Charities and NFP’s rely on attracting the best talent to support their mission, whilst competing with the private sector, who often pay more or offer a range of other perks. Add to this wider complexities such as handling public money and/or donations, makes finding the right candidate, in the right way, key!

It can seem attractive to simply place an advert online or reach out to multiple agencies on a contingency basis but this is rarely as cost effective as it first seems, and certainly will not give you the biggest reach of talent. The best talent is often passive and therefore not looking on job boards or active with an employment agency. This is where a retained search becomes invaluable.

At Pro, we guarantee to fill your role for you, using our extensive networks and tailored market mapping, perfectly positioning you and your organisation while conducting a full search until we find you your next superstar! With 30 years of experience, specialising in the charity and NFP sectors, I have found that retained hires are almost always the best long-term fit. As part of our retained offering, we also design marketing collateral such a dual branded adverts and dedicated micro-sites that really sell your organisation and EVP. All candidates go through the same process, including your own internal ones, which enables transparency and measurable benchmarking. We conduct first round interviews for you with competency-based questions, and even provide full MI at the end.

Expertise in Non-profit Sector:

Retained employment agencies specialising in the non-profit sector such as Pro-recruitment bring a wealth of industry-specific knowledge to the recruitment process. We understand the unique challenges and intricacies of the charitable landscape, allowing us to identify candidates who possess the right combination of skills, experience, and passion for the organisation’s mission. This expertise streamlines the recruitment process, ensuring that the candidates presented align with the charity's objectives and values.

We understand how charities operate and the challenges you can face. We co-ordinate with senior leaders within the sector all the time as part of our recruitment activities, and have done so for many years. We attend industry specific events, and know how to reach a diverse range of targeted talent who are both passive or inactive in the market

Targeted Search and Networking:

We invest time in building extensive networks within the non-profit sector. This network includes professionals, leaders, and potential candidates who may not be actively seeking new opportunities. By leveraging these connections, specialist recruitment agencies can conduct targeted searches to identify and approach individuals who may not be accessible through traditional recruitment channels. This knowledge and unique network of contacts are a key part of why you might consider using a retained agency.

Time and Resource Efficiency:

Charities operate on tight budgets and timelines and can therefore benefit significantly from the efficiency provided by retaining an agency. At Pro, we dedicate resources exclusively to the client's search and provide retained clients with first access to candidates that have been pre-screened, before they go anywhere else. We will work to your deadlines and keep you informed every step of the way. This ensures a focused and expedited recruitment process. By streamlining the search, you will save valuable time, which can be redirected to other business-critical areas.

Comprehensive Candidate Assessment:

We employ rigorous and comprehensive assessment processes to evaluate potential candidates thoroughly. This includes in-depth interviews tailored for your role, skills assessments, and reference checks. We will both sell your organisation and EVP but also explore the candidate fit based on their own needs and requirements. A candidate’s motivations are often as important as their skills, our commitment to a retained partnership allows us to invest the necessary time to ensure that your role is filled with the right talent, the first time.

Confidentiality, Brand Management and Discretion:

For key leadership positions within charities, maintaining confidentiality during the recruitment process is crucial. We operate with a high level of discretion, safeguarding sensitive information and protecting the reputation of both the charity and the candidates involved. We will manage your brand in a way that aligns to your own values and processes.  This confidentiality is especially vital when recruiting for roles that may involve succession planning, where premature disclosure could create uncertainty and disruption within the organisation.

We communicate with all potential candidates every step of the way. Responding in a timely and professional manner, keeping them abreast of key deadlines, supporting through the interview process, resignation of their current role, and right through to onboarding and the completion of their probation period.

Discretion is key for a hard to fill role or one that has been advertised by other means for a while. Nothing is more off-putting to a candidate then seeing a role that has been advertised for a long time and with multiple agencies

Reduced Risk of Turnover:

The investment in a retained employment agency reflects a commitment to finding the right long-term fit for a key role. Candidates understand that and will often only apply for retained roles as it shows the organisation is serious. This strategic approach reduces the risk of turnover, ensuring that the selected candidate is not only qualified but also aligned with the organisation's mission and values, while Internal candidates have the reassurance they have gone through a fair and independent process whatever the outcome.

In conclusion, utilising a retained employment agency to fill key hires offers charities a strategic and efficient approach to talent acquisition. By using Pro on a retained basis we will conduct a full search for you. We work with you to collate and share marketing collateral, advertise via multiple online and offline channels, conduct competency interviews, and actively promote you and your EVP to talent that may otherwise not be accessible. The best candidates are generally not active, and this is where a retained search is invaluable!

Here at Pro we guarantee success, otherwise will run a free search – Although, I am still yet to not fill a retained role the first time! Within the last 12 months, our NFP division have successfully filled over 20 retained roles, ranging from Finance Directors, Director of Corporate Services and HR Directors.

To learn more about our retained hire process, or to speak to one of the NFP team, you can reach Matt at 02045 499 942 or via