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.

For more information, review the pages for Compensation and Classification.

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

Job Description:


        • 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