Beginner’s Guide: Building a team for your social organisation

By October 13, 2020 No Comments

Over the last few years, the social sector has become the go-to choice for several professionals entering the workspace.

As working remotely has become the new normal, it is vital to hire the right people who will get the job done seamlessly from afar. Who is on your team is a make or break, so we put together a checklist with our social entrepreneurs who have successfully hired a strong second-in-line and build a thriving culture that attracts talent.

  1. Cultural Fit is a must

    For Purnota Dutta-Bahl, Founder of Cuddles Foundation that won Great Places to work in August 2020, looking at a person’s past experience is important, but their cultural alignment to your organisation is a must. Similarly, social entrepreneur Tarun Bothra also believes that a potential employee must fit like a puzzle piece into your organisation’s culture.

  2. Self-motivated and responsible “adults”

    Founder of No Nasties, Apurva Kothari sums it right up.

  3. Solution-centric Go-Getters

    Working to solve a social problem requires quick thinking and lots of fire-fighting. On-board someone who brings solutions to your team meetings rather than problems. Social entrepreneur Akshat Singhal of Gender Lab shares ‘I look for people who are open, willing to learn and adapt.” It makes work much smoother when you have a team that takes ownership and carries out their tasks. “Ability to self-start and be organised” that’s the key calls out Uthara Narayan, Founder of Buzz Women

  4. Ability to Challenge the Status Quo

    This is not easy, but it is necessary to determine the strength of a person’s character when you meet them (even online). For social entrepreneur Henna Khan, “An individual’s thoughts and beliefs or their comfort with challenging pre-existing norms and embracing diversity are factors one must consider while hiring”.

  5. Alignment with your cause

    It is vital that your team members share a passion for the cause you are addressing. Pooja Chopra, who heads Khwaab Welfare Trust, looks forward to working with people who share her passion and truly believe that change is possible. Apurva welcomes team players “ who are committed to the ideals of our work and have clarity of purpose”.

  6. What’s their Why

    “A strong why and context of joining.” Akshat strongly recommends you understand this before offering the person a position on your team.

  7. Empathy & Resilience

    For Sonalee Shyamsunder, these are non-negotiables along with persistence and optimism. At Saathi, Tarun looks for genuine humility and patience as this helps in connecting to the cause as well as the people you work towards uplifting.

  8. Look for the Usuals

    Much like every other sector, you do need employees that have the skills and educational background suited for their role.

Lastly, you can have your own pet peeves about hiring someone. “ I look for a spark’”, says social entrepreneur Abhishek Thakore who heads Blue Ribbon Movement. On the other hand, Purnota shares that the person needs to meet her “good person” criteria.

We hope this was helpful and wish you all the best in building your team!

Further Reading:
How to Leverage For-Profit Talent

Managing Recruitment and Talent during COVID-19

UnLtd India

UnLtd India

We find, support and grow early-stage social entrepreneurs to build high-impact organisations and grow as catalysts for social change.

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