charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Since it was founded in 2006 charity:water has funded more than 19,819 water projects in 24 developing countries. When complete, these projects will provide clean, safe drinking water for more than 6.1 million people.
We spoke to Nutan Chaudhari, People Operations Associate in their headquarters in New York about hiring at charity:water.
The story of how Nutan came to hear about the role could only happen in New York. The referral was through a cab driver. One day as she was riding in a cab and chatting to the driver, she mentioned her previous nonprofit sector work. He told her about an organisation called charity:water. Nutan was immediately drawn to the organisation and started volunteering. Then the role of people operations associate opened up in May 2015 and she has been with the company since.
Nutan’s role has evolved to take in much of the recruitment function. She supports the hiring managers, helping them post jobs, conducting reference checks, setting up interviews and getting the team involved in the hiring process. As the company grows rapidly a Head of People and Culture role has been created to help take charge of the overall recruitment process among other things.
For charity:water it’s not just important to get the recruitment piece right, but the retention part also feeds into this. Having a happy workforce and getting people to refer charity:water to their connections is very important to them.
“Getting current staff and alumni to advocate for us is a fantastic way to draw in talent. Who better to help fill an open position than current staff members who truly understand the culture of the organization and the expertise required for the role”.
She says that hiring the right person isn’t all about talent or expertise, it’s also about finding the right culture fit.
charity:water is hiring across various disciplines from beginner level to manager and director level positions. Some departments, such as the Water Programs team are looking for specific skill sets that involve experience in international development and knowledge in implementing water projects. A majority of the staff work form the New York office, but a handful of individuals are able to work remotely for their roles.
Growing their marketing team
Marketing is still a relatively ‘new’ in-house function for charity:water. They have recently hired their first CMO last summer who has helped grow the marketing department.
This growth in the marketing team along with growth in other areas of the business led to a big year of hiring for charity:water with a total of 26 part time and full time hires joining the organization in 2015.
charity:water uses HireHive to post their open positions which links directly to their careers page. They also encourage staff, alumni, volunteers, and interns to share open positions within their networks or to their social media base to help spread the word.
Automation such as auto emails are an important part of the process. “It’s great being able to send out automated emails to all candidates saying, thanks for applying, we’ll be in touch, or we’d like to move forward. I think it’s important to provide feedback to candidates that have taken the time to complete the application process.”
Seeing a company with such a strong brand it’s easy to forget that the organisation is still very young. The biggest challenge facing them? Not having someone fully dedicated to talent acquisition and recruitment which is something they are looking to solve with the Head of People and Culture.
“Having someone in this role with the experience and knowledge that could help provide guidance and support to our hiring managers would help us to expedite our search in finding the best talent for our open positions.”
So what is it that makes charity: water a great place to work? For Nutan it’s the people who make charity: water the inspiring organisation that it is today.
“I have to say I love the people. They’re passionate, they’re truly talented, they’re kind and generous and they love what they do. It’s inspiring to come to work everyday knowing that I’m surrounded by a group of world changers.”