HR at nonprofits has ‘not fully matured’

Going through the hiring process presents a challenge for many nonprofit organizations.

Nonprofits lag considerably behind the for-profit world in the human resources area, and many don’t have formal recruitment and retention strategies. Most nonprofits don’t budget for recruitment, and those that do have a median budget of just $8,500, according to a study by Nonprofit HR Solutions.

Only 15 percent of 400 nonprofits surveyed in the study have a formal recruitment strategy, and only 17 percent have a formal strategy for retention.

“There  is a general sentiment in the sector that we can get away with giving HR to anybody who’s willing to do  it,” says Nonprofit HR Solutions CEO Lisa Brown Morton. “(That’s) opposed  to thinking thoughtfully and strategically and inten­tionally around hiring people who are qualified  and experienced and who can help drive a mission forwards. Human resources is still an emerging function in the sector – it’s not fully matured.”

When recruiting new staff,  nonprofits tend to turn toward friends and contacts within the nonprofit realm, and nearly half of their hires are from another nonprofit.

Most respondents were satisfied with new employees they found through:

  • Networks of friends/colleagues (88%)
  • (85%)
  • ASAE: CareerHO (85%)
  • CEO Update (79%)
  • Professional society job boards (75%)
  • (72%)
  • (69%)
  • (68%)
  • College career center (67%)
  • (65%)

As to social media, the study found that most nonprofits are using it to some extent, but without a strategy. Linkedln is used by considerably more nonprofits than other social media (60 per­ cent), followed by Facebook (42 percent) and Twitter (21 percent).

Email is the overwhelming choice for application submissions (83 percent), and 30 percent have an online tracking system. Nearly half accept applications by mail or fax. Just 10 percent accept a Linkedln profile, and only 2 percent a graphic or video resume.

Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs has been assisting nonprofits, individuals and businesses with tax and accounting services in the Burlington Vermont Metro area for more than 20 years. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call 802.878.1963 or email [email protected].

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