ARE NONPROFIT EMPLOYERS BALANCING RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION?

By March 6, 2017Blog

In the past few weeks two interesting reports have been produced concerning employers and their employees. The two surveys don’t completely contradict one another, but they do highlight a continuing problem that nonprofit employers may be ignoring.

First, Gallup continues to push out information from their State of the American Workplace study. Last week’s article highlighted data was that 42% of American workers feel now is a good time to find a job. Workers’ assessment of the job market appears to be sound.

Last week marked the lowest four week unemployment claims average sine 1973. According to Reuters, “it was the 103rd straight week that claims remained below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market. That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller. The labor market is at or close to full employment, with the unemployment rate at 4.8 percent.”

Those record numbers do hide some hiccups in the job market. Hiring is up and there are numerous open positions, but there is also a real talent gap. Not all American workers are equipped to fill the economy’s open positions. However, for many workers the job hunting waters are very warm.

Gallup said this about the country’s opinion of the job market, “Americans’ confidence that they can find a job as good as their current one if they happen to be laid off has also bounced back. Currently, 63% of employed U.S. adults believe it is ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ that they would find a job as good as the one they have, up from 42% who said the same in 2010. The current figure is similar to what Gallup measured in early 2007 before the recession.”

Therefore, with some exceptions, it appears employers may find themselves in a real talent war now and in the coming months. But do they know this?

When it comes to nonprofits, it appears they may be fully aware of the current talent climate, but may be not taking all the steps they need to compete.

Nonprofit talent priorities

The 2017 Nonprofit Talent Priorities Survey, conducted by Nonprofit HR, has discovered that a significant majority (43%) of [nonprofits] ranked attracting diverse talent as their top talent manage priority for 2017. The report highlighted the need and desire for hiring diverse staff and creating high-performing diverse teams, which will most likely be more difficult than usual in a tight talent market.

The Nonprofit HR survey may have also highlighted a deficiency in nonprofit talent management practices. The survey’s report sited that only 18% of nonprofits make developing a retention/engagement  program a priority.

Nose on your face

Knowing that over 40% of workers think now is a good time to look for a new job and only 33% feel engaged (Gallup), it is easy to surmise that employers have a retention problem. The Nonprofit HR report appears to indicate nonprofits are worrying more about finding new talent than engaging, developing and retaining their current employees. That report also indicates that nonprofits continuing to see funding as their biggest talent management obstacle.

It’s well known that retaining workers costs less than recruiting new ones. Could more focus on retention efforts help ease two nonprofit HR pain points?

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