Overcoming Hiring Challenges for Nonprofit Organization
Nonprofit organizations have been part of entrepreneurial studies for generations. Though their main aim is not on profit gain, they contribute greatly to the world’s economic development. It is common to find people interested running an NPO.
One thing we can all agree on is that running and NPO is not an easy task. The biggest challenge is hiring. Since they don’t have definite sources of funds, NPOs rely on funders and get financial assistance. An NPO leader is required to identify and get in touch with potential donors and members to keep the organization running.
First, it is because finding enough money to pay highly skilled workers required is a challenge. Secondly, working in such an organization requires a considerable amount of self-sacrifice, patience, and commitment. Being not-for-profit employees presents very different experiences, different from being an employee in for-profit organizations. A worker has to be ready to face different challenges to achieve the organization’s goals.
Despite this, hiring is one of the significant operations on NPOs. As they grow and progress towards their specific goals, there is a need to have people working for them on the ground. And whether it is a startup or an established company, having reliable employees translates to successful missions.
Challenges in hiring for NPOs
Competition for skilled workers is the most prominent challenge charities, foundations, associations, and similar organizations face. Many nonprofits are coming up now and then, making it difficult to share the limited resources available. Apart from this, here are some other challenges to note:
Nonprofit organizations may not pay as much as for-profit organizations. Since they don’t have a definite source of income, having money to pay employees can be a challenge. Besides, those who work here do it to benefit the organization but society.
Extended work hours
Work may not be 9 to 5, like for-pay organizations. Apart from possible low pay, the possibilities of working even on weekends and at night are high. Sometimes it also involves extended travel. Therefore, one has to be fully dedicated to the job.
Seemingly out of reach goals
To meet their goals, attract new donors, and beat competition, nonprofit organizations can set goals that seem out of reach. Besides this, NPOs are always taking up significant societal problems. Many new hires may seem excited at first, but they become disenchanted with time.
The issues highlighted above cause many workers to leave in search of better opportunities. Working with NPOs can be very difficult. And when they leave, finding a replacement can be very daunting.
It is not easy to find candidates
Once a specific employee leaves, finding a likeminded employee can be difficult. This is perhaps one of the biggest problems. Not very many people may be interested in the cause of the organization. In that case, they only end up employing people who leave after a while.
NPOs often ask a lot from people who work for them. They cannot, however, give back as much. Whereas for-profit businesses tend to have too many applicants to consider, non-profit cannot get dedicated ones with ease.
Considerations for hiring NPO employees
Even though hiring employees for NPOs may pose a challenge, it essential to hire quality. Here are a few things to consider:
Hire passion and knowledge
Getting the right person for the job is crucial to the success of an NPO. Typically, it means the individual should have a specific set of skills to handle selected responsibilities. The problem with NPO employees is that most only were hats and don’t do many tasks day-after-day.
You, therefore, need someone who will be passionate about the mission of your organization. Do not focus on searching for a person for a specific skill set. Someone with knowledge of the possible challenges at hand, they can come up with great ideas for the benefit of the organization. Employee retention has been an issue because employers go for the wrong people.
Work with experience
Skills are not overly important for hiring. However, the experience is. It is not all about where the person has worked and how many organizations they have been with. Consider life experience that makes someone who they are. During the screening process, of course, you should start with people who had worked before or volunteered for an NPO. Consider as well as candidates who have solved the problems you have in your organization. You can find out more about a person from the way they speak about their passions and what motivates them.
For transitional professionals be open-minded but not too much
Your opening will attract people from all backgrounds. Most of them have probably worked in for-profit companies. They may be looking to change their career path. As stated above, the downsides in NPO can lead to burnout. Therefore, start by explaining and ensuring transitional professionals understand well what it means to work with NPOs. Seek their explanation for why they are looking for the change and what they expect to find.
Sometimes the transition from one job industry to another is never easy. That is why many employees transitioning from for-profit to non-profit may not last long. The pay may be great and alluring, but that is never enough to keep someone loyal to your cause.
Post the job in the right areas
From the start of this article, we have emphasized the importance of getting an ideal candidate. As an entrepreneur is a social setting, you want someone that can connect with people on all levels. You should be able to identify the right places to source for employees with a bit of knowledge and expertise in nonprofits. There are several NPO-specific job boards for such organizations. Consider posting the job description on groups like Idealist, Common Good Careers, National Council of Nonprofits, and Foundation List, among others.
NPOs face a lot of challenges. Hiring employees is one of the significant problems. Understanding these factors, as stated above, is a great way to venture into the sector. If you get the right people, you will create an excellent environment for your success.
Author: James Hamilton