How Conservative Recruiters Can Attract the Best Talent

July 17, 2017 | By Ben Woodward

Many of us have been a job seeker, an interviewee, and a new staff member.  It is a painful process.  However, on the other side of the coin, the recruiter has a hard time as well. Attracting and finding the best candidate is tough.

From the standpoint of a recruiter, you’re making a significant investment, not just financially.  The recruiter has to consider whether their current staff can work with this person on a daily basis and whether they are worth a long-term investment.  In other words, is the potential hire on track for leadership one day?  Is this somebody who is going to make the organization more effective?

The wrong choice can severely affect team morale, cost money, and ultimately, damage the organization as a whole.

To attract the best talent, recruiters should place emphasis on mission, culture, advancement, and training.

The mission of your organization, its reputation, and role in the movement can attract talent.

How is it that organizations such as the Leadership Institute, Charles Koch Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Foundation, and many others have a wealth of strong applications for every job advertised? 

Conservatives understand the purpose of those organizations and their place in the movement.  The work they do is tangible and, most importantly, valuable. Talented conservatives want to feel that they will make a substantial contribution to the movement and that their work will advance their philosophy. 

By making it clear to the candidate what the organization's role is in the movement, and how they will be contributing, organizations will attract talent.

Your organization's culture can attract talent.

Organizations in the movement have reputations not just for what they do, but how they do it.  The movement is small, word travels fast, and if the culture of an organization is poor, nobody will want to work there.

By emphasizing the strength of the bonds between colleagues, the socializing that takes place outside of work, and the way supervisors interact with their juniors, conservative organizations will attract talented individuals to whom respect in the workplace is fundamental. 

Prospects for advancement will attract talent.

Unlike the narrative of the left, which says ambition is something to scorn… it’s something conservatives celebrate.  Conservative organizations seeking to attract the most talented staff must offer a clear pathway to advancement.  This is not only important for recruiting the best staff but also for retaining them.   

Many non-profits find this to be a challenge.  Because of limited funds, it is not always possible to promote staff as quickly as they would like.  It is, however, possible to grant more autonomy, more responsibility, and better job titles.  Talented job seekers want to know they have an exciting future at your organization.  Nobody likes feeling their talents are not recognized.

By failing to offer clear prospects for advancement, even the staff who do accept your offer may not stay long.

How the job seeker is challenged and trained will affect talent retention.

Recruiters should establish how their new hire will be tested with projects of high responsibility. 

The Leadership Institute, for example, prides itself on having the best intern program in the Washington, D.C. metro area.  The argument for this is simple; LI gives interns projects of legitimate responsibility.  Also, LI invests heavily in their professional development by training them and connecting them with leading conservatives.

Job seekers will want confirmation that their role will challenge them and that they will learn new skills they can use to advance conservatism.

By making all of these aspects clear to job seekers, you will attract the best and the brightest.