Large Numbers of Nonprofit Leaders Are Stepping Down — and the Competition to Find New Ones Is ‘Fierce’

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Felecia Hatcher, now CEO of Black Ambition, stayed at her previous organization to help it navigate the challenges of the pandemic. Felecia Hatcher began thinking about leaving the group she co-founded, the Center for Black Innovation, back in 2019. After the birth of her second child, she wanted to find a way to travel less and still help young Black entrepreneurs. But then the pandemic hit, and her thinking changed. “There was no way I could leave then,” she says. The group had to make drastic changes, like turning its popular Black Tech Week into a virtual event. She and her husband had to care for a 1-year-old and were homeschooling their 6-year-old, adding more responsibilities. Mounting deaths from Covid-19 forced Hatcher to think about her own mortality. “If these are my actual last days, how do I want to spend them?” she asked herself. “What are the things I can put aside, and what are the things that are really hard that I could be approaching differently?” The murder of George Floyd changed things, too. Suddenly corporations that had ignored her organization just months earlier were now knocking down the door to work with it. It only added to...
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It’s Complicated: Nonprofit Organizations and Wage Equity

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The nonprofit sector has a long, complex relationship with compensation. With a  workforce that in my home state of Minnesota is roughly three-quarters female and traditions of low wages these days, nonprofit workers are proving unwilling to accept second-class status. While the historical wage gap between nonprofit and those employed either by for-profit firms or the government is narrowing, nonprofits face mixed feelings from the public and funders about whether their employees deserve to earn wages comparable to business or government workers. The process of getting nonprofits out of the proverbial church basement means overcoming antiquated views of the helping professions where your compensation includes “psychic income”—reflected in such tropes as doing the “Lord’s work” and rewards “in the next life.” These outworn views, too, relied on sexist stereotypes that the sector’s largely female workforce didn’t need or merit higher salaries. Today, the public often reports positive feelings about the role and contributions of nonprofits but isn’t sure what to think about compensation. A public opinion survey conducted by the Charities Review Council in Minnesota presented four statements about how charity employees should get paid. The survey asked 800 people in Minnesota to pick a statement that best described their...
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How to Prep Your Resume for Automated Resume Scanning

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The use of automated resume scanning with  Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) has skyrocketed, with nearly 99% of large companies and half of mid-size firms using these technologies to screen applicants. While the practice certainly makes it more efficient for HR to find the right candidates, it can be a minefield for applicants when it comes to getting their resume “past the bots” and into the hands of an actual human. In fact, some 75% of resumes are automatically deleted or rejected by ATS platforms, eliminating candidates regardless of their qualifications. Do’s and Don’ts for optimizing your resume to make the first cut.  1. DO keep formatting simple. Software scans for keywords and other relevant data, but they cannot detect relevancy if the document is incompatible. Don’t let yours be one of the nearly 45% rejected due to incompatibility. Send only Word files (never a PDF) and keep it simple. Some colored text might be ok, and bold, italic and underline fonts, and bullets are fine, but use a standard typeface and a consistent font size. Leave the header/footer blank, don’t use tables or columns, and avoid using templates, all of which result in outright rejection or a jumbled mess the...
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Competing for Talent: Tips for Associations

The nonprofit workforce is the third largest of U.S. industries and at last count, this included over 93,000 trade and professional associations employing over 1.2 million people. Nearly 1 in 10 workers in Washington, DC alone are employed by associations. The cost of hiring and firing any employee is astronomical when counting the expense of time spent and the psychology of a failed choice. Between the cost of onboarding, training, coaching, staff time, wasted salary, benefits, and administrative costs, HR professionals project that an organization can easily spend thousands of dollars on a hire that has gone wrong. So how do you get it right? Here are 9 Tips for How Associations Can Improve the Hiring Process. 1. Think about your short and long-term organizational strategy. Before you conduct your first interview or draft a job description, think about your short and long-term organizational strategy. How does the new employee fit into this vision?  Are you drafting a profile for the past, or hiring toward the future? 2. Be honest about the hurdles the prospective employee will need to overcome to achieve the goals. Be brutally honest about the obstacles and opportunities that lie ahead. Don’t shy away from asking...
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Human Resources Professionals Say Their Jobs Are Harder Than Ever, As They Try To Recruit And Retain Employees In A Hot Job Market

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The job market has been wild. We went from firing and furloughs during the early days of the pandemic to fighting a war to find talent. With the new Omicron variant, we now have another curveball to worry about. To gain a sense of the job market, GoCo, a leading provider of flexible software solutions for HR, benefits and payroll, conducted a survey of human resources professionals, asking them about the “current state of retention, hiring and pressures on HR to fill vacant positions.” Spoiler alert: the study shows that companies that hesitate to increase wages, enhance benefit choices or offer retention bonuses to attract and keep good workers will have a hard time recruiting and retaining top talent. Nir Leibovich, CEO of GoCo, said about the findings, “HR is under tremendous pressure to fill job positions in one of the most brutal job markets of our time.” Leibovich continued, “It will be critical for companies to listen to HR professionals and leaders about what is working and not working in talent acquisition right now. This survey reveals some critical insights into how companies can retain top talent and bring in new people despite the current challenges.” Here are some...
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