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When you’re looking to bring new talent onto your team, any intel gleaned from the candidate pool can be incredibly valuable, helping to inform your hiring strategy as well as the future efforts of your HR department and hiring managers. 

But as employers in the sector, we’re rarely offered honest insight into the behavior and opinions of the folks who are applying to join the team. That’s why we often survey members of our community and share the most interesting feedback with organizations like yours. Recently, we asked job seekers a variety of questions related to their search and what they look for in their ideal employer. And after analyzing the nearly 500 responses, here’s what we found …

Most valuable traits in an employer

We asked our job seekers to share what one thing they would value most in their next job. We were surprised by some of the answers (and we think you may be, too).

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Professional Growth

Here's a look at what respondents had to say when asked what kind of professional development resources they currently have access to (either through their employer, or externally).

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Career advancement and satisfaction

When we asked respondents if they feel they're advancing in their career the way that they want (or had hoped they would), 43% of respondents agree or strongly agree while 56% disagree or strongly disagree.

This means that as social-impact employers have a significant opportunity to consider how we can meet the needs of current and future employees.

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Here’s the breakdown of our survey respondents’ job searching status:

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Diversity, equity, and inclusion

While respondents noticed a commitment to DEI on a prospective employer’s website as well as in their job listings, they noticed this commitment play out in a diverse hiring team or interview questions and tasks to a lesser extent.

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Straight from the seekers

  • "While DEI statements might attract me to a job posting ... diversity among the hiring team/staff and interview questions that mention DEI are so much more important. It signals that the statements put out by the company actually mean something."

  •  “In my experience, it is a big assumption—and not a good one—that organizations with non-whites in leadership roles are truly committed to DEI.”

  • “I see the ‘politically correct’ verbiage; not sure I see DEI reality.”

Over the last few years, we’ve observed some real strides toward a more equitable and forward thinking workplace. Nearly 60% of respondents to our 2020 survey have hired staff, consultants, or both in order to support ongoing DEI work, while others reported intentional recruitment of board members with DEI expertise.

Of course, we also recognize that there is more work to be done, especially in the eyes of the nonprofit professionals we hire and serve. There is a real opportunity for organizations to go beyond a simple nod to DEI in a job description. For more ideas on how to expand your organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in 2022, explore our resource on how to reduce bias in hiring


Find out how to make your hiring process as inclusive as possible with our Inclusive Hiring Toolkit.

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