Building a Talent Pipeline

The nonprofit sector is expanding and nonprofit employment opportunities continue to grow. The 2015–2016 NonProfit Salaries & Staffing Report indicates more than a third of added staff is in the area of program management and program delivery. Second only to fundraising, filling program positions with talented and capable staff is now viewed as the most difficult challenge.

Building a talent pipeline can be difficult. Nonprofits tend to wait too long to reach out for help. This can have a devastating effect on operations, especially in smaller nonprofits where two or three people oversee daily operations and a large portion of fundraising efforts. But this is not just a small organization problem. Even the larger nonprofits delay decisions—whether it be letting someone go, bringing new executives onboard, or, building an effective talent pipeline.

Inc. writer Lee Colan, author of 5 Steps to Building a Successful Talent Pipeline, says that the strength of your current and future talent is a great predictor of your business’s success. He offers 5 steps to build a talent pipeline:

  1. Plan. Start with analyzing the future needs of your organization and conduct a “what if” analysis.
  1. Attract. Build a strong brand so that potential candidates want to come to work with you. The PNP Staffing Group’s survey reflects that how an organization’s brand is perceived is increasingly critical, and nearly as critical as salaries are in attracting and keeping great staff.
  1. Assess. Lee Colan identified four key areas for assessing your talent: Job Challenges, Organizational Knowledge, Competencies, and Executive Derailers (simply put — what makes people derail even if they meet the challenge, knowledge and competency assessment).
  1. Develop. Design staff development options. No one who is serious about their career wants to stagnate. The PNP Staffing Group report shows that nearly 50% of respondents noted that nearly half of their staff are now Generation Y. This has significant implications in that Gen Y is highly mobile. At least 30% of them are expected to change jobs in 2016, compared to 22% in 2015.
  1. Reward. Reward is not all about money. People want to feel like they are making a contribution, and are part of something larger.

Take advantage of our snow days and think about how your organization can develop an effective talent acquisition and management strategy. Start by reading the PNP Staffing Group’s NonProfit Salaries and Staffing Report.

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