The Back-to-School Bell Rings for Temps

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It’s that wonderful time of year when students of all ages head back to school. Behind the frenzy of registrations, books, class assignments and parking passes is a well-oiled machine of administrators, executive directors, teachers, facility managers, system specialists and other professionals who have been hard at work long before the bell tolls. They make the first day, and every day, look easy. But even the best plans can go awry because schools, just like any other organization, experience staff disruptions. The “secret sauce” is to have a process that kicks in automatically to keep all cylinders pumping. Many schools are relying on temporary or contract workers supplied by staffing agencies to fill immediate, short-term and even long-term gaps. More than three million temporary contract employees work through staffing companies in an average week, with about 6% working in education services. Experienced temps fill not only administrative and executive assistant roles, but help with registration and admissions, marketing, IT, bookkeeping and facility management. As more and more parents and alumni are unable to serve in volunteer roles, many schools now routinely hire professional temps to handle fundraisers and development activities. Temps provide not only an immediate answer to an early...
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Why The Best Leaders Are Full-Time Learners

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By Kelsey Meyer Tell me something you’ve learned recently. It’s a question we ask in most interviews to determine whether a candidate has the intellectual curiosity we look for in team members. If she can’t tell me anything she’s learned in the last month, I know it won’t be a good long-term fit, simply because an eagerness to learn isn’t inherent. Last year, I wrote an article titled “Why Leaders Must Be Readers,” and while I still wholeheartedly believe this, my thinking was too limited. Reading is just one way to learn. Leaders must be learners. It doesn’t have the same ring to it, but it’s just as important. I respect leaders who are continuously learning because I know they’re challenging their own assumptions and bringing more knowledge to the table each time we converse. Learning can take many different shapes, so here are a few examples of ways that you can continuously be learning as a leader — and encouraging your team to do the same. Read Not to beat a dead horse, but reading really is important. Read the opinions of others, and discover the ways in which you agree or disagree. Debate topics you’ve read about with...
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Why You Should Read Nonprofit Salary Reports

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You may want to change the world and love your job working in the nonprofit sector, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay your bills on time. So when those salary survey participation offers show up in your inbox—or that of your boss—it’s a pretty good opportunity to learn something. Believe or not, most employers want to pay their staff competitive wages. The cost of training can be high, and turnover is rough on everyone. Knowing what the competition is paying for similar jobs is important to attracting and retaining happy staff. Understanding the bucks and perks being offered down the street can help you when it comes time to negotiate a compensation package. Recent reports note that the Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.4 unemployed persons for each advertised vacancy—so a little homework is in order. Ranjita Chattopadhyay is a writer for Paycheck India. And although you may not be contemplating a move to India, he didn’t mince words about the value of employees, employers, and candidates reading salary reports. In his article about the importance of salary surveys for the employee and employer, Ranjita summarily writes: “The most valuable information that employees get out of such...
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Good Bosses Know Better: Don’t Let Your Employees Forfeit Vacation Time

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Shared Content; Published at Forbes.com; Author Bethany Lampland There is no controversy over the fact that employees who are enthusiastic about their jobs and dedicated to their work yield better results for their companies. It’s also pretty clear that using vacation time and periodically disconnecting from work leads to more productivity and a greater likelihood of career success. Yet, according to a study by Project: Time Off, 55% of Americans leave vacation days unused each year. All of this begs the question: as managers, how can we empower employees to make full use of their vacation time and reap the benefits of more productive and satisfied teammates? First, perhaps the most impactful thing we can do to incentivize employees not to squander paid time off is to create a culture that promotes the use of vacation as the expected and responsible thing to do. I once had a boss who constantly chided people for taking vacation. He would publicly say things like, ‘Mary just got back from her third vacation of the year. It’s nice to see she has time to drop in on this meeting.’ Now, in fairness, he intended these comments in jest. But, whether lighthearted or not,...
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Insights for Hiring Managers: Interviewing CPA Candidates for a Staff or Senior Position

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Be honest about expectations. Finding the right financial leadership for a nonprofit must start at the top. Of course you want someone with financial expertise, but what are the hidden expectations of the job? Is it to bring a strategic, high-level perspective to the organization for growth, or to reduce the financial workload for the Executive Director? Does the role involve managing day-to- day accounting and the annual 990 report, or providing fiscal leadership to the CEO and Board of Directors? Compare your expectations and the candidate’s traits. If what you really want is a financial leader to guide the organization through major growth, or perhaps a pro to creatively managing working capital, a candidate that has strong financial credentials but is weak in leadership traits is not the hire for you. Expecting someone to “rise to the position” is a huge gamble that most nonprofits cannot withstand. Ask candid questions. Ask candid questions to understand how the candidate approaches challenges and solves problems—not only those of a financial nature, but the inevitable challenges that pop-up when managing teams and working with executive leadership. If you have identified “analytical thinking skills, problem solver, confident leadership or effective team player” as...
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