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The Ups and Downs of Hiring

Our friends at Nonprofit HR Solutions recently released the results of the 2011 Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey. With responses from more than 450 nonprofit leaders and HR professionals, the survey reveals a somewhat mixed outlook for the year ahead. While 60 percent of respondents indicate that their organizations plan to hire in 2011, the survey also found that nonprofit employees are staying put in their current positions. Turnover rates for respondent organizations were 13 percent compared to last year’s rate of 21 percent and the vast majority of those surveyed believe that the turnover rate will stay the same or decrease even further this year.

Commongood Careers has definitely experienced the uptick in hiring in the last 6 months and we have also experienced the challenges of hiring in an environment where turnover is very low.  Jobseekers today tend to be more hesitant about making a transition – why would you leave the known to go to the unknown in a time of uncertainty?  And when they do consider a transition, they are looking at positions that would represent a upward move, are being extremely selective and doing significant amounts of due diligence on potential employers, and are seeking increases in salary and benefits.  Overall, we have seen candidates declining job offers at a higher rate than ever before.

What does this mean for organizations that are excited to finally be hiring again?  First, you need to make sure that your positions are scoped to be very appealing to the right types of candidates.  You have to recognize the dynamics at play and understand that jobseekers will be looking for career progression as opposed to a lateral move.  You need to ensure that your organization is stable, leadership is strong, and that the position is not at risk of being cut.  Finally, you need to be prepared to offer very competitive salaries and benefits in order to get someone to leave their current position.

Overall, even with such high unemployment rates nationwide, recruiting and hiring in the nonprofit sector is more challenging than ever, as organizations really only want to hire professionals who are actively employed.  So get prepared to invest in a hiring process that is longer and harder than you might have expected a couple of years ago.

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