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PRESS RELEASE: HR challenges for the not-for-profit sector

Press release

Research into key employee attraction and retention issues faced by the not-for-profit sector

Insync Surveys, an employee, customer and board survey provider, has today released a research paper addressing the unique issues not-for-profit organisations face in attracting and retaining quality staff. The paper, based on in-depth interviews and industry data, highlights budget constraints as the main driver for recruitment and retention problems.

“Differentiation is the key for not-for-profits to attract and retain quality staff. If not-for-profits don’t want to lose people to the higher paying corporate market, they need to consider creative measures such as non financial benefits,” said James Garriock, Insync Surveys CEO.

“Promoting a range of benefits is fundamental; whether they be flexible work hours, succession planning, professional development or career opportunities,” added Garriock.

The research suggests many not-for-profits attract candidates who have a strong personal belief in the mission of the organisation. As a consequence this narrows the number of people to choose from during the selection process. Often when mission-aligned people join a not-for-profit, considerable effort and time is then required to boost their skills.

“Limited funds not only means lower salaries but it impacts on the whole hiring process. A lack of job advertising budget can result in smaller candidate pools, putting pressure on HR professionals to hire staff who don’t always have the skills required for the job,” said Garriock.

On the contrary, skilled staff who join not-for-profits require a variety of benefits to ensure long term motivation and focus.

Not-for-profits face a number of unique HR issues. For example, the mining boom in WA has meant people can be enticed by significantly larger salaries. It is critical the sector profiles the enormous satisfaction that the community sector offers and the flexibility of work practices.

It is reported that not-for-profit organisations are being pushed to the limit with fewer resources and reduced head count. The research uncovered instances of burnout and lower employee morale within the sector. This added pressure is often a catalyst for people to look elsewhere.

“In HR we need to offer employees a robust value proposition and do some internal marketing to ensure that we value them,” says Helen Petrusa, Manager HR Support and Partnership, Mission Australia.

The research also offers practical solutions for not-for-profit organisations to consider to maximise
candidate selection and attract high quality talent.

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