HR Challenges for the Not for Profit Sector
14 September 2010 at 12:43 pm
New research reveals that budget constraints are the main driver in the recruitment and retention problems faced by the Not for Profit sector in Australia.
Insync Surveys, an employee, customer and board survey provider, released the research which it says addresses the unique issues NFP organisations face in attracting and retaining quality staff.
James Garriock, Insync Surveys CEO says differentiation is the key for Not for Profits to attract and retain quality staff.
Garriock says if organisations don’t want to lose people to the higher paying corporate market, they need to consider creative measures such as non financial benefits.
He says promoting a range of benefits is fundamental; whether they be flexible work hours, succession planning, professional development or career opportunities.
The research suggests many Not for Profits attract candidates who have a strong personal belief in the mission of the organisation. As a consequence, this narrows the number of people to choose from during the selection process.
The research paper draws on the significant research carried out on the topic over the last 10 years, as well as in-depth interviews with experienced Not for Profit HR professionals. They represent four different industries: community care, international aid, employment services and aged care. Despite the differences in industries, the researchers say the main issues faced by Not for Profit organisations are similar.
The research paper says often when mission-aligned people join a Not for Profit, considerable effort and time is then required to boost their skills.
Garriock says limited funds not only means lower salaries but it impacts on the whole hiring process and a lack of job advertising budget can result in smaller candidate pools, putting pressure on HR professionals to hire staff who don’t always have the skills required for the job.
On the contrary, he says skilled staff who join Not for Profits require a variety of benefits to ensure long term motivation and focus.
The research found that NFPs face a number of unique HR issues. For example, it says the mining boom in WA has meant people can be enticed by significantly larger salaries so is critical the sector profiles the enormous satisfaction that the community sector offers and the flexibility of work practices.
It is reported that Not for Profit organisations are being pushed to the limit with fewer resources and reduced head count. The research uncovered instances of burnout and lower employee morale within the sector. This added pressure is often a catalyst for people to look elsewhere.
Helen Petrusa, Manager HR Support and Partnership for Mission Australia says HR needs to offer employees a robust value proposition and do some internal marketing to ensure that they are valued.
Insync Surveys says the research also offers practical solutions for organisations to consider to maximise candidate selection and attract high quality talent.
To download a copy of the research paper, click here.