Non-Profit Organisations Compete for Talent in a Tightening Labour Market

August 6, 20158:00 am720 views

The non-profit labour market is getting more competitive as organizations recover from the recession and start expanding staff. There is need for dedicated recruitment agencies to step in and fill the growing void in non-profit executive recruitment.

Salaries and benefits are improving in the non-profit sector as reported by The Non-Profit Times in its 2015 Salary and Benefits Report. Talent is getting harder to acquire as the economy strengthens and labour demand tightens. Nonprofits are working to retain current staff and hire for new positions. HR managers are beginning to struggle.

No matter how great the organization is, if another organization offers more fulfilment on the job and better salary benefits, critical staff will jump. It’s a balancing act to juggle non-profit budgets, executive salaries and career mobility.

The average pay hike of employees in non-profits during the past five years of salary surveys is just less than 3 percent. The largest organizations ($50 million or more operating budgets) had the highest average of that time, 3.61 percent, pulled up by a high of 8.27 percent last year.

When it comes to executive staff, almost one in five nonprofits offer executives some form of exclusive benefit. Three benefits for executives were most common among at least one out of every three organizations:

  • Financial or legal counselling (48 percent)
  • Additional vacation days above the amount offered to other employee groups (37 percent)
  • Excess life insurance above the amount offered to other employees (31 percent).

Sometimes, nonprofits stretch to offer other types of benefits that might help to attract or retain employees. These include two weeks’ vacation to new employees, accrued with each pay period, which rises to three weeks when employees reach three years of service, and up to four weeks after eight years. This is on top of on top of seven sick days a year, and four personal days per year. Survey results showed an overall average of 6.2 days after six months of employment and 11 vacation days after one year.

See: How to bridge the ‘skills gap’ in war for talent?

Some non-profits also offer access to therapists, when an employee feels burned out or to help them get the much needed care without having to access their insurance. Despite these efforts and benefits provided by non-profits retention of talent is a major challenge, which is not just faced by public and private sector enterprises.

HR professionals into non-profits do not have to sacrifice financial stability as a price to pay for a growing career. There is a social stigma associated with non-profits, as a job that serves society and heals spiritually, doesn’t have to be financially rewarding. This misconception among people at large that a career working for non-profit organisation means no profit for employees is a misnomer.

In fact, this is quite the opposite. Advancements in technology have created new opportunities and opened up avenues for non-profit organisations to collaborate and work proactively for the benefit of mankind.

However, breaking this traditional mould of preconceived ideas about non-profits is a major challenge faced by employers to retain bright talent. Dealing with this talent crunch situation in a tightening job market, would require creating more awareness about employee benefits offered by non-profits as in comparison to the private sector. This can be one of the ways to allure and attract talent in a non-profit.

Also read: Silicon Valley’s talent crunch signals need to strategize to attract top talent

Image credit: flickr.com

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