Reach out to encore-stage professionals, welcoming them as employees. Show that your organization is inclusive in communications, social media and job postings.  Promote job openings through existing channels and target new ones that focus on the 50+ demographic.  Consider ways to recruit through networking and word-of-mouth: effective approaches according to a Conference Board survey.

Networking and Word-of-Mouth

These tried-and-true strategies will help you expand your organization’s reach.

  • Employees. Your employees are well-positioned to spread the word about job openings through their networks.
  • Volunteers. Current and former skilled volunteers may be ideal job candidates.
  • Donors. Donors often seek engagement beyond the checkbook, according to the National Council of Nonprofits, and may be good prospective candidates.
  • Board members. Past and present board members are great referral sources and in some cases, potential employees.
  • Conferences. Encore-stage professionals often attend nonprofit conferences to network and learn more about opportunities in specific sectors.
  • Contacts. Be sure to keep a list of people who approach your organization, and include them in your hiring outreach.

50+ Networks and Organizations

Find experienced adults through existing networks and organizations, which may post open positions or get the word out to their networks more informally.

  • Encore Programs. Check out the programs page for local and national organizations that operate encore pathways and programs. 

Digital Tools: Your Website and Social Media

Your organization lives on line. Review your website and social media presence for inclusivity and appeal to multigenerational workers.

  • Your website. Do images reflect age diversity? Does the jobs section welcome people of all ages? Are position descriptions attuned to encore motivators and transferable skills?
  • Social media. Expect applicants of all ages to check your social media sites; be sure that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram reflect age diversity. LinkedIn for Nonprofits. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for finding talent. Start with an employer page (this slideshare can get you started). Nonprofits can post jobs at discounted rates.

Recruitment Websites

A growing number of websites attract 50+ users looking for full-time, part-time and flexible work arrangements.

  • AARP Life Reimagined for Work. Through a partnership with LinkedIn, Life Reimagined for Work connects people 50+ with job postings. Participating organizations take a pledge of support for older workers.
  • RetirementJobs.com. RetirementJobs.com posts open full-time, part-time and volunteer jobs across industries and sectors, including government and nonprofit organizations. The site also offers an “age-friendly” certification for employers, underscoring the organization’s commitment to the 50+ demographic.
  • General job sites. Start with job boards that target the nonprofit community (i.e., Idealist, Bridgespan’s Nonprofit Job Center, CommonGood Careers, Opportunity Knocks and the Nonprofit Career Center). Other sites allow sorts for the nonprofit sector (i.e., Indeed or Simply Hired). They don’t – yet – permit users to specifically recruit the 50+ demographic.
  • Local resources. Some communities have 50+ referral programs. For example, Rutgers University’s New Start Career Network helps unemployed older adults in New Jersey and Encore!Hartford helps older adults in the greater Hartford area transition to new jobs with a focus on nonprofit roles. Similar resources may exist in your community.

Professional Groups

Find encore talent through professional associations, networks and alumni associations. Here are several examples.

Hire Encore


Volunteer-to-employee pipeline

When you have a job opening, look to your volunteers as prospects. Some encore professionals volunteer to gain experience in the nonprofit sector.

Read more:

Dave Garvey, Ph.D., Director, Encore!Hartford, University of Connecticut

“Encore careerists are going to come to you. You are going to meet them at your professional conferences. You are going to be asked to share a cup of coffee by a corporate professional who wants to learn about your needs and the field’s needs. They are determining how to use their experience to make an impact and forward your mission. They bring experiences to the conversation and problem-solving that can move your nonprofit forward.”