Hiring: At some point, your organization is going to need more people. How can you best reach out to your potential candidates in the job market? Better yet, how can you stand out AND make the best hiring decision? OR maybe you’re one of the job-seekers, and you want a sneak peek into the casting seat. The resources and strategies in this section will help you do all of that and more, from the perspective of hiring managers, casting directors, and/or applicants.
If you are hiring, you should aim to present as much accurate information as you can about the position without overwhelming the job posting with nitty-gritty details that are better put in a contract. It’s also important to keep in mind that your applicants may be at various stages (pun intended) of their careers, and that some may be better suited to the job than others, and some may completely surprise you. If you can cast the net widely, you’re more likely to find good fish.
Think about the bigger picture of adding new staff. You’ll want to be clear on how they fit into the organizational structure, who they report to, if they have any direct reports. From there, determine the best people you need in the room to make the hiring decision. You also want to brush up on legal requirements and your organization’s mission, vision, and values.
SKIM IT: The Dos and Don’ts of Hiring & Recruiting:
- DO post a job description: Give a sense of what the job requires, and include how it fits into your mission. Even if you plan to hire internally, opening the pool to new talent may pleasantly surprise you.
- DO create a hiring chart: Develop an objective rating system to use with all applicants.
- DON’T withhold compensation information: Potential employees deserve to know, and you’re just wasting everyone’s time by pretending your salary range is from $0 to $1,000,000.
- DON’T ask “personal” questions at an interview: Race, religion, sexual orientation, and even whether they drive a car, are (usually*) not appropriate for discussion, and they could be grounds for discrimination. (*See the legal section for more info)
- For more “do’s,” check out Hey, can we be a little nicer to job applicants and stop treating them like crap? by Vu Lee for Nonprofit With Balls.
- Legal Hiring & Recruiting by Chris Jozwiak & Cassie Navarro of Baillon Thome Jozwiak & Wanta LLP and Penelope Phillips. A powerpoint presentation created for PAHRTS covering legal issues specific to Minnesota, primarily from employer POV. Includes Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications, Application Forms, Ban the Box, Interviewing and Pre-Offer Inquiries, Credit & Criminal History Checks, Pre-Employment Testing, and Drug & Alcohol Testing.
- Ban the Box Law (Minnesota-specific law, though other states have also adopted). This law is designed to protect job candidates with an arrest or criminal record from discrimination when applying for jobs.
Outreach/Recruitment & Diversity
- Assess Your Culture by Andre Coen & Leah Cooper: What are the values of your organization? What is your organization missing? How does it affect you? This questionnaire frames a method for considering how who you hire will impact your organizational culture.
- The 51% Preparedness Plan for American Theatre by Tim Dang: A sample statement from an LA based theatre (East/West Players) determined to shifting staff demographics to represent their community, including majority people of color, women, and under 35 years old by the year 2042.
- TCG Recruitment Solutions: A valuable list of language samples, questions, and resources for ensuring diversity in hiring practices.
- Our Hiring Practices are Inequitable and Need to Change by Vu Le: A blog post detailing the barriers to immigrants and people of color in standard nonprofit hiring processes.
- When You Don’t Disclose Salary Range, a Unicorn Loses its Wings by Vu Le: A blog post discussing the implications of “DOQ” or “BOE” postings and barriers they pose to applicants.
- The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times & Bad by Boris Groysberg, Nitin Nohria, and Claudio Fernández-Aráoz: Harvard Business Review report on economic impacts of recruiting and a step by step process to find good employees in a shaky economic environment.
- Nonprofit Workplace Trends powerpoint by Lisa Brown Morton: A powerpoint presentation covering best practices and nonprofit trends for recruitment strategies & staffing challenges from the Nonprofit Employment Practices survey.
- Tips for Recruiting and Managing Older Volunteers by Leah Kerkman for the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Covers recruiting retirees, encouraging commitment, and managing limitations of older volunteers.
- For more specific information on volunteer recruitment and management, check out Idealist.org.
- Hiring Timeline Schedule: A template to consider all the steps of the hiring process, useful to customize for each position.
- Recruitment Checklist by the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector in Canada. Covers steps from the decision to hire to the actual selection of a candidate.
- Supervisor Training for Hiring: Tips and best practices for the Hiring Committee or Team courtesy of the Guthrie Theatre. Includes preparation, interview agendas, and protocol for checking references and running background checks.
- Job Description Templates: Three position description templates containing information you should provide all potential candidates before they apply.
- Hiring Scenario by Ashley Hanson & Pogi Sumangil: A sample experience of job interviewing meant to inspire conversation. An experienced candidate interviews for an administrative position at a local theatre. What does the organization demonstrate to the candidate about their values and culture?
- Behavioural Based Interview Questions by Competency: Sample interview questions that get at specific competencies in alphabetical order. What strengths are required for the position? Ask questions that will allow your applicants to show (or not show) their stuff.
- Keep These Biases in Mind when Interviewing by Andi Cheney for PAHRTS: A list of common interviewing biases and examples.
- Candidate Rating Chart: A chart to be used with top five criteria for candidate interviews with a scale to provide less biased scores. Pairs nicely with the Behavioural Based Interview Questions. Help avoid bias by objectively charting the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. Courtesy of the Guthrie Theatre.
- Bad Hire Calculator: Interactive spreadsheet! How much does employee turnover actually cost your organization – in dollars? A spreadsheet to calculate the cost of employee turnover including training, replacement, and lost productivity.
- HowlRound: You Want a Diverse Theatre? Prove It. by Kareena Ingersoll and Deena Selenow: A blog post on inclusion in casting and hiring processes.
- Questions to Ask References by the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector in Canada.
Auditioning & Casting
- Audition Scenario by Ashley Hanson & Pogi Sumangil: A sample experience of auditioning meant to inspire conversation. An actor auditions for two separate theatres and has two different experiences. Notice what actions each organization could take to create a more positive audition experience for the acting community.
- HowlRound: How (Not) to Write a Casting Breakdown by Lynne Marie Rosenberg: Dos and Don’ts of writing an audition posting.
- TED Talk: Color Blind or Color Brave by Mellody Hobson: Thoughts on casting practices and their impacts on both the performance and the audience, and what that means for your theatre.
- Color-Conscious Casting: Three Questions to Ask by Lavina Jadhwani for HowlRound. The questions in question are: 1. What story does this casting tell? Is it clear and supported by the text? 2. 2. Is this story appropriately complex? and 3. Do I have the right players?
- Where to Post for Minnesota Auditions/Theatre Opportunities:
- Summary of Benefits An example of how to layout benefits to employees and applicants. Goes great in a handbook and on your hiring page! Useful for individuals to consider alternate negotiation opportunities.
- Negotiation Suggestions: A brief list of considerations for your next negotiation opportunity.
- How to Overcome a Fear of Negotiating and Get a Bigger Paycheck by Jennifer C. Berkshire: Discussion of the impacts of not negotiating as well as simple steps to prepare for your next opportunity to negotiate.
- Don’t Make These 8 Mistakes when Negotiating Salary by Alison Green: The popular author of askamanager.org made a quick list for your reference.