On the Harvard Business Review Blog, blogger Gerald Chertavian posts his article titled "Nonprofits Need to Compete for Top Talent." Here he suggests nonprofits focus on four things to attract, keep, and grow their talent. These include:
- Leverage Your Mission - This means embrace that you are here to do good and don't apologize for lower (yet reasonable) salaries. There are plenty of young talented people who want more out of their job than a paycheck. Your mission can be a great way to market to prospective employees. Mention all the highlights that come with the job other than a paycheck.
- Focus on Culture and Growth - In order to retain talent, nonprofits must focus on nurturing their organization's culture. Include everyone in the strategic planning process. Everyone must feel like they are a vital and important part of the organization and its mission.
- Pay as Competitively as You Can - Yes, it is not reasonable to pay leaders and employees a salary that allows them to have a mansion and sport-cars. However, it is a fact of life that people need to be compensated and the better that is, the larger pool of applicants you will have. Look at what your nonprofit competitors are paying their employees and make yours just a little higher. It is not reasonable to think that good talent will be attracted to the organization's mission so much that they are willing to work for next to nothing.
- Invest in Leadership - It is worth it to pay for executive recruiting firms to assist in finding leaders. But an even better option is to develop leadership from within the organization. Invest in professional development and safe time/money in finding future leaders.
Most nonprofits do a great job focusing on their mission, but many need to be reminded that their process is just as important. Good talent is essential in order to most effectively carry out the mission. I hope that more nonprofits and philanthropists see the importance of investing the time and money in attracting and maintaining an effective workforce.
1.) "HBR Blog Network." Harvard Business Review. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2013. <http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/03/nonprofits_need_to_compete_for.html>.
2.) "Investing in Nonprofit Talent-It's Not Overhead, It's Essential." Venture Philanthropy Partners : Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2013. <http://www.vppartners.org/learning/papers-and-perspectives/presidents-perspective/investing-nonprofit-talent—its-not-overhead->.