You’ve made a conscious effort to make your job description more inclusive. You have even distributed the opportunity to new networks including your black and hispanic chambers of commerce. Yet by the time the application deadline rolls round the candidate pool looks unsurprisingly similar to every other opening you have had.
There is no doubt your organization is passionate about hiring the right people because we understand what’s at stake for those our clients serve, and that’s why we are continually looking to diversify talent to ensure our applicant pool is the most dynamic, yet robust one available to us when a hiring need arises.
There are three simple things you can do to achieve this.
- Invite candidates in rather than having them rule themselves out.
- Share your salary range.
- Encourage candidates to connect.
Invite candidates in – be open to non-traditional candidates and encourage them to see themselves in the role by adding the following sentence to job postings;
Research shows that while men apply to jobs when they meet an average of 60% of the criteria, women and underrepresented/underestimated individuals only apply when they ‘tick every box.’ So, if you think you have what it takes, have transferable skills, are quick to learn, but don’t necessarily meet every single dot point on the job description, please apply.
Share your salary range – while legislation has been passed in several states making it illegal for employers to ask for an employees salary history, a subtle change to job advertisements could lead to savings in time and resources and play an important role in retainment levels and issues around pay parity. Salary cloaking is the practice of not posting a salary range for that role, arguably in the hope of attracting strong candidates and not having them opting out of the opportunity at first glance. This is of course problematic. In the nonprofit space wages are notoriously low to begin with and over the course of the recruiting process, it wastes people’s time with searching, applying, screening candidates and interviewing, just for a candidate to say no thanks, I have a family to support. I cannot stress this part enough. When an employee takes a lower salary, it perpetuates wage gaps and affects the employee’s lifetime earnings and—to be frank—their sustained satisfaction in the position.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported on the fact critical nonprofit roles such as fundraisers only last 16 months in their role and then move on for better pay. There is always a high cost of turnover and this can be addressed on the front end by adding the simple detail of what you are willing to give.
Encourage candidates to connect – we don’t keep donors at arms length so why prospective candidates? Invite candidates to learn more about the role and the organization by including with the lead recruiter or hiring managers email address or LinkedIn profile.
Trust, transparency and authenticity are important traits and values of the nonprofit sector so why not open a dialogue with prospective applicants as soon as you can? Not only will it help applicants make a decision on their application or not, you are also showcasing your values too.
Creating an innovative nonprofit is difficult, especially without the right talent. Hiring the right employees for the right roles at the right time is critical, especially for a nonprofit:
- Annual turnover in the U.S. (in 2017) was 26.3%, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- The cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary – with that comes with the caveat of it being a conservative estimate.
- So, a 10 person organization that provides an average salary of $50,000 could have turnover and replacement costs of approximately $66,000 to $260,000 per year.
So let’s be upfront, honest and authentic in our hiring. Let’s pay people what they are worth and show them how they can move up the ladder, seeing themselves in the organization long term. Ultimately it leads to more job security and, as a result, lower turnover and a generationally segmented workforce.
The social sector is changing and is going to need new voices, experiences, education, training and expertise when it comes to supporting programs and projects looking to deliver real impact for those they serve. And if adding one 1 link, 1 paragraph and 2 numbers to our job ads can support this shift then obviously we would be all the better for it.