2015 is on pace to be a big year for nonprofits; a year in which the nonprofit sector is expected to outpace the corporate sector in job growth. Of those nonprofits who responded to our 2015 Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey, 49 percent had increased their staff size in 2014, and 50 percent of nonprofits expect to hire at least one person in 2015. This is especially impressive in comparison to data from a Careerbuilder study, which found that only 36 percent of for-profit companies plan to hire this year. This is sure to be eye-opening for those who don’t believe that valuable career opportunities exist within the nonprofit sector.
So why is the nonprofit sector poised for such growth in 2015? The boom in nonprofit hiring is in large part thanks to a slow but sure rebound from the recession that began in 2008. Nonprofit organizations are optimistic about their growth and sustainability due to improvements in the economy that have resulted in increased donor dollars and the expansion of nonprofit budgets.
As more candidates enter the job market and more positions open up, nonprofits need to get smarter about how they position themselves as attractive employers. Yes, there will likely be more jobseekers on the hunt this year, but there will also be more open positions for them to consider.
If you’re looking to grow your nonprofit this year, here are three things you need to know to stay ahead of the competition:
Recruitment Strategy is Key
The 2015 Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey indicates 52 percent of nonprofits surveyed don’t have a formal recruitment strategy in place. Without a recruitment strategy, nonprofits run the risk of wasting time and money on recruitment, or worse, losing out on top talent to organizations both within and outside the sector who are employing more effective recruitment practices. Your recruitment strategy needs to address what kind of talent you need, when will you need that talent, how will you attract talent and how will you pay for talent coming into your organization.
Even worse, 67 percent of nonprofits surveyed reported they do not have a formal recruitment budget. No matter how you cut it, quality recruitment requires an investment, and both time and money need to be set aside for activities that will drive top talent to want to be a part of your workforce.
Social Media Recruitment Can Help You Reach Millennial Professionals
In 2014, only 8 percent of nonprofits reported having a formalized social media recruitment strategy, but this year, that number is up to 28 percent. Why? The spike is due to the departure of older employees from the workforce and the rapid emergence of millennial talent. As more millennials enter the workforce, it will be increasingly important for nonprofits to connect with them where they’re already looking for jobs, which is often on networks like LinkedIn and Twitter. If your nonprofit doesn’t already have a strategy for reaching candidates on social media, it’s time to start building one. And when you do, be sure to have a compelling message about who you are as employer and why someone would work to work with your organization.
Direct Services Professionals Will Be in High Demand
In 2015, 46 percent of nonprofits expect to hire for direct service roles. Direct service professionals will be in higher demand than those in other types of positions, so nonprofits that plan to hire in this area should be aware of the competitive environment in which they are recruiting. Finding talented direct services employees will likely be more challenging than ever this year.
Is your nonprofit ready to get ahead when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent in 2015?