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Counteracting the Great Resignation—Part II

for executive directors work relationships Jun 21, 2022

     In today’s job market, it’s not easy to replace lost workers. Fifty-three percent of nonprofit executive directors say they cannot find enough qualified employees to fill their open positions. You need the job opportunity and recruitment experience to be appealing to candidates so they will not only apply, but also accept your offer.

Attracting Workers

    The best performing job ads use easily understandable job titles; state the salary and benefits; show a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; use supportive language; and are written in the second person. Language is supportive when it addresses not only the needs of the organization, but also the candidate. Second person language uses the word “you”, speaking directly to the reader.

      To attract the greatest number of candidates, declare that veterans, mothers, BIPOC, and people with disabilities are welcome and encouraged to apply. Thirty-nine percent of Millennials and 47 percent of Generation Z identify themselves as BIPOC.

     Connect with potential employees by speaking directly to them. Let candidates know up front exactly what they’re getting into using plain language. Simple and direct outperforms elaborate and fancy every time. And show them your organization will give to them as much, or more, than it will take from them.

Interviewing Candidates

     Interview questions are tailored to each position, so you ask the right questions in the appropriate way to get at the skills you are looking for. In addition to asking questions of the applicant, let the applicant ask questions of you. Be prepared to answer inquiries about autonomy, flexibility, professional development, work culture, career advancement, and organizational sustainability and growth.

     Let them know about all the ways your nonprofit will help them be successful in their jobs and meet their needs. And, because they are mission-driven, or most likely they wouldn’t be interested in working for a nonprofit, show them the impact their position will have on changing lives.

     When you interview, use structured interviews. Structured interviews are interviews where the same interviewer asks the same questions, holds the same conversations, and uses the same scoring system across candidates for the same job position. Structured interviews are twice as effective as unstructured ones in predicting future job performance.  

Making the Offer

     Make salary growth part of the offer. Tell them what to expect in the future regarding financial compensation. Tell them exactly what they need to do when to garner an increase in pay. Mention individual and group incentives. Tell them what you will do to help them earn more. Show that you are thinking of their wellbeing just as much as your nonprofit’s.

     To make sure you can keep you promise of higher pay, you must intentionally plan to grow your budget. As we discussed in Counteracting the Great Resignation—Part I, build salary increases into your budgeting process and diversify your revenue streams. Move toward an income portfolio that relies on all the ways nonprofits realize revenue—earned income, unearned income, fundraising, and government contracts. Strive to not only diversify an overall revenue stream, but also the different sources of funding available within each larger stream.

     We’ll talk more about how to afford talent on a shoestring budget next week.

Next Steps

     Let’s talk about recruiting employees and how you can attract the talent you need. Just schedule a complimentary, thirty-minute strategy session with me. During our time together, we’ll clarify your issues, explore possible solutions, and create a plan of action. Just click the button below to get some time with me. I look forward to getting to know you! 

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