How Can Nonprofits Compete for Great Talent?

Larry Tucker

Author: Larry Tucker

Executive Coaches of Orange County

www.ECofOC.org

The good news is that “pay” usually ranks third or fourth or fifth on the scale of why people join a firm. So, as a starting point, don’t enter the hiring arena with an inferiority complex. In fact, I will submit that nonprofits have one significant advantage over for-profits when it comes to attracting and retaining good talent. Let me explain.

You know how most for-profits are developing lofty vision and mission statements? They are often tying their businesses into something almost philanthropic: “Making the world a better place”, “improving the towns where we do business”. One of their goals is to attract and retain talent by creating a rationale for coming into work each day that extends beyond pay and promotions. Sometimes it takes these organizations a lot of work to convince themselves and others that their businesses are actually about something grander.

Well, you can see where I’m going with this. You don’t have to agonize over how you make your business meaningful for just doing what it does. So, “sell” your vision and mission in your ad for talent, for all roles. You will attract candidates who want to do something for the world and for themselves besides just making money. And, in some cases you’ll attract candidates who are really dedicated to your specific cause. These new hires will be more likely to be engaged in your work and less likely to wander away for a few bucks.

6 thoughts on “How Can Nonprofits Compete for Great Talent?

  1. This article certainly resonates with me. My experience working with non profits is that their staff turnover is very low. They are passionate about the mission of the organization and rarely leave for a “better paying job”. Great blog…keep it coming. Martha

  2. This article certainly resonates with me. My experience working with non profits is that their staff turnover is very low. They are passionate about the mission of the organization and rarely leave for a “better paying job”. Great blog…keep it coming. Martha

  3. Your statement re “to convince themselves and others ” is an absolute critical issue. To sell your mission you need to let your passion for your mission infuse your talk. I find that telling stories creates interest.

  4. Your statement re “to convince themselves and others ” is an absolute critical issue. To sell your mission you need to let your passion for your mission infuse your talk. I find that telling stories creates interest.

  5. Gen: Good comments. I agree with both your assertions: The mission is only as good as the everyday passion behind it, and stories are a great way to convey both practical and emotional examples of an organiztion’s mission. My cynicism in stating that some firms have a hard time convincing themselves and others of their philanthropic mission is mostly reserverved for some for-profit employers whose forced missions are “paper-thin”.

  6. Gen: Good comments. I agree with both your assertions: The mission is only as good as the everyday passion behind it, and stories are a great way to convey both practical and emotional examples of an organiztion’s mission. My cynicism in stating that some firms have a hard time convincing themselves and others of their philanthropic mission is mostly reserverved for some for-profit employers whose forced missions are “paper-thin”.

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