High Turnover & Hiring in the Nonprofit Sector

Nonprofit hiring is being driven by higher than average employee turnover, creating opportunities and challengers for socially conscious job seekers. 

High-turnover-hiring-in-the-non-profit-sectorThe good news is that the nonprofit sector is experiencing an upswing in hiring. The not-so-good news is that many nonprofit employers are also bracing for higher voluntary employer turnover rates, suggesting that nonprofits aren’t doing enough to retain their workers.

The 2012 Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey, conducted by Nonprofit HR Solutions, reveals that 43% of nonprofits increased the size of their staff in 2011 (compared to 34% in 2010). The same percentage (43%) plan to increase their staffing levels again in 2012.

However, more nonprofits are expecting their turnover rate to increase due to retirements and voluntary resignations. While in 2011, only 7% of nonprofit organizations anticipated increases in voluntary turnover, that figure has doubled in 2012 with 14% of nonprofit employers preparing for an uptick in voluntary resignations.

Although retention has always been a challenge in the nonprofit community, these findings suggest nonprofits simply aren’t doing enough to keep the workers they already have. More than three out of four nonprofit employers have no strategy in place to retain even their most vital employees.

“We have alerted the sector of these trends for the last few years.” said Nonprofit HR Solutions’ President and CEO Lisa Brown Morton. “The economy and job market have turned a corner but unfortunately, according to our survey results nonprofits are not investing in retaining their key talent as they probably need to. We really need to get prepared for greater turnover when the sector’s top talent starts to jump ship this year as opportunities in the private and nonprofit sectors begin to open up.”

The survey also found that higher numbers of respondents feel that ethnic and cultural, gender and age diversity is important to their organization. But even though the majority of nonprofit organizations rate workplace diversity as important, many still face challenges in ensuring a diverse workforce.

The most significant diversity challenge that organizations faced was split almost equally between having their staff reflect the composition of the communities they serve, retaining staff under the age of 30, and balancing ethnic and cultural diversity.

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