Hiring Without Hesitation: Filling Vacancies As They Occur

An organization’s workforce is its most important asset as well as one of its greatest investments. Understanding the importance of a good workforce is increasingly critical as organizations push to improve top and bottom line performance while managing costs. In addition, competition in the nonprofit marketplace – for talent, donations, support – is at an all-time high.

Research shows a clear association between a nonprofit’s performance, on all levels, and its talent management practices. Nonprofits with better talent management practices attract better talent, earn significantly higher performance ratings, and succeed in fulfilling their missions more successfully.

Yet, it is clear that some nonprofits have adopted counter-productive talent management practices, such as putting off hiring talent when needed, as a strategy for budget management. In a recent PNP survey, 40% of nonprofits polled had one to three staff vacancies for over 6 months. 20% had more than three vacancies for over a year.

An organizational practice that keeps positions vacant is a bad strategy that drains the organization and is contrary to what research tells us:

  • The best investment for an organization is its workforce. Every study shows that a nonprofit with a committed and fully productive workforce is more successful.
  • Investing in finding the right talent for your organization produces the best return on investment.
  • Lack of understanding, by the leaders of an organization, about where investments should be made and their impact for an organization is the greatest failing of many organizations.
  • Knowing how to best shift resources and practices, when required, is the key to managing well.
  • To compete effectively in the marketplace, a nonprofit must be fully staffed.
  • Believing that people are the solution and not the problem is essential for the growth of an organization.
  • To perform well and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage, an organization must have people who perform well.
  • Putting off hiring or moving slowly to hire places you in a competitive disadvantage as the best people are hired by other organizations.
  • To be able to hire great people, nonprofit managers must always be on the hunt for talent.
  • Filling vacancies quickly reduces the enormous expenses that go with vacancies – lost productivity, other staff filling in, an under siege mentality, and general loss of productivity.

Hiring quickly and well in this competitive marketplace is critical to an organization’s health. Talent management practices must be honed and vacancies avoided. 2017 promises to be an exceptionally productive year for the nonprofit sector and those organizations that invest in finding and hiring the best talent are the ones that will lead the way into the future.

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