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10 Dec

Recruiting For The Long Term

Recruiting For The Long Term

By Brad Lebowsky, MBA

CEO: Nonprofit Engagement Advisors

Let’s face it, finding and keeping the right talent can make or break any organization. For nonprofit organizations, this becomes more difficult. The three most popular obstacles can occur: 

  1. Appropriate salary for the position and the metro market.
  2. Opportunities for growth.
  3. Professional development which includes a process for performance management

Some nonprofit organizations work with professional recruiters to locate talent. Most recruiters offer a 90 day guarantee and require at least 20% of the first year’s salary. The services that are not included can be damaging to nonprofit organizations and are a major source of turnover. Studies have proven a nonprofit can spend up to 2.5 times a person’s salary to recruit a replacement. My recommendation is to pay attention to three key strategies that will lower your recruiting costs and your risks of turnover. 

1    Culture and Performance

Some nonprofits are required to recruit talent to solve a list of problems including but not limited to culture issues (team dynamics) and performance issues. Instead of recruiting someone to “fix” your problems, it is recommended to address and correct issues first before recruiting.  This can be accomplished with an interim manager or consultant. In addition, this will allow your new hire to invest their energy on performing (getting results) quickly versus taking time to fix matters then address performance (results) at a later time.

2 Board Training

In most professional positions, an executive is managed by one person. In a nonprofit organization, the board, anywhere from 5 to 50 people, can manage one executive. This dynamic requires board training on how to properly manage the performance of a nonprofit executive. Without this training, the best candidates could be lost, forgotten, and exit the organization. 

3 Performance Management

Despite your opinions on performance management, every nonprofit executive needs to know where they stand at all times. This requires a formal performance management policy and procedure(s) for the board to follow in order to keep the right people. These procedures must include timely execution, consistent and meaningful communication, a formal recognition program, and a list of goals (results) and areas of emotional intelligence to maintain the culture in your organization and promote public trust.  

While there are many ways to recruit talent, there are only a few ways to successfully train and maintain talent to produce the best culture and results for your nonprofit organization. Our uncertain economy and job market requires your nonprofit organization to develop and implement a consistent recruiting strategy in order to maximize performance and reduce overall costs. If you don’t know what to include in your recruiting strategies, ask an expert and prepare your organization for a 21st century approach to recruiting.

Author: Brad Lebowsky, MBA

CEO: Nonprofit Engagement Advisors, LLC


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