How to position your charity as an employer of choice

Third Sector Promotion Wonderful Workplaces

Top tips to help you attract top talent.

What do great employers have in common? Pinpointing universal factors is a challenge when each charity has its own set of values and unique culture. After all, one individual’s idea of a wonderful workplace surely differs from another’s.

But one luxury the best charities seem to enjoy is the ability to attract and retain top talent, even when times are tough. Sure, even top employers may sometimes struggle to recruit for a particular niche role or the best digital skills. But if you build such a strong reputation as a brilliant place to work and communicate your employer brand values so effectively that the people you want working for you naturally want to work for you too - well you’ve cracked a hard nut and given yourself an edge already.

The Wonderful Workplaces 2019 Employer Branding Insights Report revealed that 96% of employees in the third sector would consider an employer’s brand when applying for jobs, yet nearly half (48%) felt their most recent employer did not effectively communicate their brand.

Tell your story

Do you offer three months paid parental leave like Save the Children recently introduced? You’re making a phenomenal difference in the world? Offer unlimited holidays? You pride yourselves on having a culture of rapid career progression? Start talking about the great initiatives or incentives you’re offering staff and what makes you stand out from others. But know that it’s more than such incentives that make your workplace culture. Have a strong vision and mission and use a variety of channels to communicate your purpose through positive messages - these may include social media, your website, relevant media sites and internal communications. Also consider how you’ll amplify those messages further through various partner channels that can access your target audience in the right places, at the right time.

But don’t paint an unrealistic rosey picture. There’s no point saying you offer a great work/life balance when in reality staff have to work late on a regular basis - some people might be quite happy working long hours so long as they knew that’s what they were signing up for and get rewarded for it. You won’t keep top people for long if they expect one thing and consistently get another.

Identify your workplace ambassadors

Before applying to work in your organisation, many candidates will spend time researching what it’s like to work there and will look out for what other people are saying about you. The people within your organisation who love working there are your biggest brand ambassadors and are the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to positioning you as an employer of choice. They may already be talking about why they love working there so make sure you share their stories on your social media and other marketing channels, and don’t forget to show your appreciation to them as valued assets to your business.

Gather perceptions

Do you know how your current or potential talent perceive you as an employer? What would prevent someone from applying for a job at your charity, or attract them to do so? Gaining insights into such perceptions will help you identify and address any issues with your employer brand, and will reinforce what you’re doing well. Employer branding surveys aimed at current and potential candidates can help uncover such insights and steer your recruitment marketing strategy accordingly.

Find out how your charity ranks in the Employee Value Proposition Index 2020

Do you know how people perceive your organisation as an employer? Dedicated to recognising the best of the best, the Employee Value Proposition Index provides organisations wih valuable employee feedback to help build your employer brand and reputation.

The survey is currently free to enter and has been conducted by the independent research company, Best Companies Group, in partnership with employer branding agency, Wonderful Workplaces - part of Haymarket Media Group (publisher of Third Sector Magazine).

The best ranked companies will be announced at the CIPD's Festival of Work (Olympia London, 10-11 June 2020). Will you appear?

Find out more: #EVPIndex2020

Need advice to help you build your employer brand? Contact Wonderful Workplaces on 020 8267 4476 or email

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To discuss working with Third Sector Jobs to support your recruitment campaign, please call Leona Ademi on 020 8267 4078 or email