Checking In On the Nonprofit Job Market

In January we reported that hiring teams needed to be patient and move quickly, referencing both the longer time required to move prospective candidates from interested to application and the need to be efficient moving candidates through a process, lest you lose them to another opportunity.

As we prepare to turn the calendar to May, not much has changed in nonprofit recruitment. It is still largely a candidates’ market.

Here is what we are seeing:

Signing the offer letter doesn’t necessarily seal the deal.  

We are finding more nonprofits willing to counteroffer when an employee tenders a resignation. In fact, we have seen salary increases of 50% or even more offered. Some organizations are subscribing to the theory that it is worth the investment to keep good people. Of course, there is a long-term risk to this approach if your salaries get way out of line. We strongly encourage an approved compensation philosophy to help guide your organization whether you are hiring or trying to retain great talent. A compensation philosophy helps to ensure equity across your team and gives you a tool for budgeting and financial forecasting.

Workplace flexibility continues to be the name of the game.  

Last week, I spoke with 16 prospective candidates for different positions. All are currently employed and all, but one said remote work is their first choice (even development folks). They might consider hybrid, but they will not entertain a position that requires them to be in office 5 days per week. I am not suggesting that remote is the best option. I am simply telling you it is what prospective candidates want. If you require folks to be in person on a regular basis, you will have a smaller pool of candidates to choose from.  The more flexibility you can offer whether hybrid or remote, the more interest you will attract.

On-demand benefits.  

Candidates don’t want to wait 90 days for benefits to kick in or 3 years to be vested in retirement plans.  

Not offering benefits at all is a dealbreaker for most candidates. The fewer benefits and the more restrictions you have on those benefits, the smaller the pool of candidates. If you can accelerate your organization’s pursuit of benefits for employees, now is the time. Offering a stipend that employees can use to help cover costs of benefits is not enough.

Professional development is a critical hiring tool.  

Candidates who know that they will be given the support of a coach or an opportunity to engage in intentional professional development are more likely to choose your organization. With the competition in the marketplace, you may hire a candidate with great potential, but not all the experience you had hoped for when you launched the search. Or you may hire a leader with a different lived experience than your existing team and they (and you) may need help acclimating to the team. Investing in coaching and training is a signal of your commitment to your new hire. Without it, you may lose a great talent.

The right search partner can make a big difference.

If you read our blogs regularly, you know that we steer away from promotion of our services. We are going to bend our rules a bit to share why partnering with Armstrong McGuire can help you find and retain great talent in this candidates' market.

At Armstrong McGuire, we take the time to get to know your organization, your culture, and what you really need in a teammate. We are able to authentically answer prospective candidate’s questions to help them transition from curious to committed, in-it-to-win-it applicants.

While we strongly encourage you to list a salary range and benefits in your position posting, we can share with candidates a more complete picture of what your organization has to offer—how your core values shape your culture; how your partners value your collaboration; how you commit to developing your team members personally and professionally; how you help teammates balance family, life, and work.  

In other words, we share your story because we have taken the time to learn and understand your story. In this hiring market, painting an organizational and opportunity picture can make all the difference.

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