Category Archive for "recruiting"

The Recruitment Risks of Too Many Interviews

Employers today are struggling to find workers. Those that ask applicants to go through an unnecessarily lengthy and opaque process are likely to lose out on candidates who have plenty of alternatives.  It’s a significant financial and operational commitment for a company to hire a new team member. Onboarding and training require considerable resources, not to mention the salary, benefits, and taxes involved in compensating the new hire. Operationally, new team members are often accountable not just to their boss but also to stakeholders in other departments by virtue of increasingly interconnected and collaborative offices. So it’s understandable that employers might want to use an extensive interview process to thoroughly vet candidates before selecting one for an open position. But employers need to be careful not to drive applicants away with overly onerous interview processes, particularly in a job market in which applicants have considerable leverage. Long Interview Processes Can Be a Big Turnoff In an article for BBC Worklife, Mark Johanson presents the experience of a 49-year-old software engineer from Indiana named Mike Conley, who became so frustrated with a seemingly never-ending interview process that he ultimately pulled his application. In Conley’s case, the employer was unable—or perhaps unwilling—to…

3 Interview Red Flags That Are Actually Signs of a Good Leader

Lack of experience doesn’t always mean unqualified. Here’s how to spot the difference.  While some may say integrity and emotional intelligence make a strong leader, others measure leadership skills based on a person’s drive, ability, and influence. The truth is, when it comes to hiring for a leadership role, what makes an ideal leader typically varies and reflects the company’s current goals, which is why promoting your highest performer isn’t necessarily always the best option. In fact, the difference between a good and a great leader can sometimes be obscured by relying on traditional traits and first impressions. I often recommend coming into each interview without any expectations from candidates. Sure, having an impressive résumé and credentials is one thing, but taking a chance on a candidate who shows promise to shake things up a little can impact your team and company in ways you never imagined. So, what’s one way to come into an interview with an open mind? Just like how leadership can easily be redefined, forget what you know about traditional interview red flags and try looking at them in a new light. Whether you’re looking to hire someone who can drive results, bring everyone together, innovate business, or help develop skills, I’ll be…

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Best Employees Never Want to Leave

Here’s something that keeps your Executive Director (or you?) up at night. “What happens if Jason leaves? Sure, I’m the E.D – but Jason is really irreplaceable. He has all the relationships that drive the big money. If he ever leaves, this place will fall apart.” Every organization has its rock stars. You, as the leader, want to do everything you can to make them never want to leave. Here are five things you can do to retain your best employees. FIRST OF ALL, SNAP OUT OF IT No one, not even Jason, is irreplaceable. You may rely on him now, but you’d find someone else if you had to. And more importantly, it’s highly unlikely that Jason will stay as long as you’d like no matter what you do. You also need to snap out of the mentality that you are only the E.D. If you really feel that Jason is more important to the success of your work, maybe you should be the one shopping. A big part of your job is to build a team of five-star players. Absolutely take great care of your rock stars but remember… if the band isn’t also first rate, you’re probably…

If you are planning to hire in the near future, act now

Summer is here and nonprofit organizations, large and small, are engaged in strategic planning as rebuilding begins. Many are tackling sustainability issues, restructured operations, fundraising challenges, and staffing changes—often in development, management and leadership roles. The current, and growing, challenge to old hiring patterns is evident in the radically changed marketplace for top talent. In February of this year, the number of nonprofit jobs dropped to 12.48 million or approximately 7.4% fewer jobs than 10 months ago1. Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported the drive to get people back into office is clashing with workers who’ve embraced remote work as the new normal. A May survey of 1,000 U.S. adults showed that 39% would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. The generational difference is clear: Among Millennials and Gen Z, that figure was 49%, according to the poll. So what are organizations facing and what do nonprofits need to do to survive and growth in this new marketplace? If you are planning to hire and are waiting to do so, you may find yourself facing a trio of challenges, including the departure of good talent, the loss of valuable time, and a highly competitive marketplace. 1. The…

Use these 3 solid answers next time someone asks: ‘Tell me about yourself’

Rather than dread the question, think of it as a self-promotional invitation you mustn’t let pass you by. People are not asking for your chronological history, but they do want more than your name, rank, and serial number. Whether you are in a job interview, meeting a new contact while you build your network, or talking with your big boss on a video conference for the first time, this is your moment to shine. It is an opportunity to give your two-minute advertisement about your background, your accomplishments, and the importance of what you do Your goal is to turn the question into the beginning of a deeper conversation and a deeper relationship. So keep these three key pieces of your response ready: Engage the audience, establish credibility, and tell people why they should care. Then tailor your reply to the person who is asking. Find ways to connect your experience and expertise to their interests. Engage the audience Resist the urge to lead with your title and organization unless you know that will stand out. Instead, give a short, illustrative explanation of what you actually do. Make it an interesting conversation starter. If it points to anything going on…

Words Matter: Ensuring Inclusive Communications

As associations welcome an increasingly diverse membership into the fold, the way they communicate is crucial. This is why many organizations are adopting more inclusive language that better reflects the whole community. As the world’s population becomes more diverse across every demographic category, so do the people who belong to your association. To ensure that all members feel included, associations have been making adjustments to the language they use. While some view language changes as superficial or go so far as to label them pejoratively as “virtue signaling,” experts say the shift is critical. “It’s important to remember that communication defines the identity of the organization,” says Nneka Logan, Ph.D., an associate professor of communication at Virginia Tech. “That is why it is important to communicate in an inclusive way. The things you say define you as an organization and can affect the way you are perceived in the public, by members and nonmembers.” Associations that are looking to adopt more inclusive language typically have a mission to be inclusive, according to communications expert Beth Hampton. “I’ve been a marketer for a number of associations,” says Hampton, who is currently vice president of marketing and communications at the American Association for…

How Associations Can Foster Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) as an organizational and membership strategy is a priority for many associations today. Many professionals are members of trade associations to expand their networks in a related industry. Their reasons for selecting one association over another varies from popularity to quality of education. Associations provide an easy way to identify the “whos” in performance, quality and/or expertise. They also encourage members to get more involved in activities that impact their industry, making associations a great breeding ground for leadership pipelines. How Many Associations Are There? The short answer: a lot. According to the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the number of associations grows at a healthy pace annually. As defined by ASAE, there are more than 1.6 million in the U.S. ASAE is a membership organization of more than 44,000 association professionals and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Although there are many associations, there is a commonality between each of them that is often unaddressed like the proverbial elephant in the room—they lack in diversity of social identifiers across multiple dimensions. The associations that have emerged as the most well-known have homogenous senior leadership teams, a board of directors and active volunteers. Their struggle…

5 Hiring Pitfalls to Avoid—If You Want Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Leadership

The world of philanthropy is having its reckoning when it comes to equity, and the time couldn’t have come soon enough. Across the country, organizations are seeking to be more thoughtful about how they approach the communities they serve and take steps to embed equity into their work. But it takes more than talking a good game to bring good intentions to life. To make legitimate progress, we must move beyond words and into actions. And that starts with how and who we hire. It’s no secret that philanthropic organizations continue to be dominated by leaders who are largely white and male (although that is slowly changing). They are also predominantly led by individuals who have attended the right schools, followed similar career paths, and are developed and hired using the same criteria that were followed for their predecessors. To create an equitable culture in philanthropy, we must do much more than consider gender and skin color when we make hiring decisions. Instead, we should also be working to ensure that we identify smart, committed people regardless of where they grew up or went to school—or who they know. As a result, no matter how much we talk about making…

Building a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Organizational Culture, and Where to Start When Considering an Organizational DEI Assessment

Creating, supporting, and sustaining an inclusive, equitable work culture where all staff members are comfortable and effective (no matter employee/volunteer background or experience level) is imperative for organizational success. To gauge areas for organizational inclusivity improvement, review the following: When the last time a DEI review was performed to assess staff experience and uncover areas for improvements? Are the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and dignity for all reflected in your organizational culture? Do you have a written vision statement and or strategic plan for DEI? If it exists, when was it last updated and is it being used to educate the staff and promote a positive culture? Do you continue to promote your organizational beliefs and stand up and make room for all voices? Do you insist on a culture of respect, and recognizes that words and actions matter? The absence of action and words also matter. Do you believe in the freedom of speech, and encourage the civil and respectful expression of ideas and opinions? Do you share in the responsibility to create a positive culture and to safeguard equity, inclusion, dignity, and respect for all? Do you have a culture that takes action when you observe someone…

Practical Ideas for Improving Equity and Inclusion at Nonprofits

The journey toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusion has no fixed endpoint, but here are a few places to start. The nonprofit sector’s focus on advancing social welfare means that we are responsible not only for implementing effective management practices, but also for holding ourselves accountable to the communities we serve. We know that board diversity improves performance and inclusive teams make better decisions. We know the value of including our communities and program participants in decision-making. Yet while references to equity, inclusion, and diversity (DEI) are seemingly everywhere, as a white executive director, I am acutely aware that nearly 90 percent of all nonprofit executive directors or presidents are white. In my field, environmental conservation and outdoor recreation, people of color hold just 12 percent of staff positions, and participants in outdoor recreation programs overwhelmingly identify as white. Acknowledging intersectionality—the reality that we live within a system of overlapping and interdependent privileges and disadvantages—is a first step toward truly addressing DEI. But how can we make acknowledging intersectionality a practice, and not just a conversation? We can start by making relatively simple changes that center our work at the intersection of race, gender, sexual orientation, ableism, and implicit bias. Here are some practical ways to begin. Start with…