Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
RECRUITMENT / SEP. 07, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How Nonprofit Organizations are Handling Hiring New Staff 2014

Nonprofit organizations are not the same as corporate companies, therefore hiring trends and practices in this sector are slightly different. Hiring habits amongst these organizations have followed varying trends/patterns with the sector making some strong improvements. Nonprofits are setting out to hire top talent, making recruitment and retention a key issue throughout these organizations. Nonprofits are going after desirable candidates using a mixture of corporate tactics and traditional ones as well.

Nonprofit HR and the Improve Group have teamed up to conduct the National Nonprofit Employment Practises Survey which looks at how nonprofits are hiring new staff and what type of tools/strategies they are using to track down top candidates as well as keep them. Here are some of the survey’s key findings which focus on three key areas; Staffing issues, budgets and workforce size/predicted growth. The survey is representative of 413 nonprofit organizations:

Recruiting, Retaining Candidates and Social Media

  • 48% of mid-level staff will move onto another nonprofit organization and stay employed within the sector long-term.
  • 60% of nonprofits use LinkedIn to employ new staff.
  • 83% of nonprofits prefer CVs sent via email with email being the most widely used method to handle candidate applications.
  • Just over 25% of nonprofits that use social media platforms to recruit new staff note finding a better quality of applicants.
  • One out of five nonprofits identify staff turnover as being one of the biggest issues within their organization.
  • 19% of nonprofit companies struggled to promote their top performing staff members.
  • Entry level and mid-level staff are the most difficult to retain.

Judging from these results, nonprofits are not offering competitive salaries that will keep top talent satisfied which is having a direct impact upon retention and recruitment right across the sector. In light of this, these organizations should introduce bonus incentives in an attempt to remedy the problem because as 48% of top employees opt to remain working in the sector, it makes sense to be competitive when it comes to remuneration.

Hiring Trends and Job Creation

This survey also shows that job creation in the nonprofit sector varies from company to company with a majority of international foreign affairs (75%) organizations planning to create new jobs in comparison to just 35% in the education sector. Hiring new staff instead of depending on current staff to support newly introduced programs and roles is another trend that this survey has identified. 45% of organizations prefer to hire new staff over existing ones to fulfill new roles.

This highlights the need for top talent with more diverse and professional skill sets to step in to boost nonprofit workforces. The easiest way to achieve this is to combine offering higher salaries and suitable promotions to mid-level staff whilst giving entry-level staff the opportunity to progress their careers faster as well. Top employees and even top candidates are hard to come by, so actively retaining these employees is just what the nonprofit sector will benefit from the most. Not only will this resolve the sector’s retention issues it will attract top candidates at the same time.


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