According to Frog Recruitment’s recent World of Work, 30% of HR managers said their company had enforced a recruitment freeze during the pandemic. The result is 60% said there is actually a candidate abundance, noting a 34% improvement in job ad response rates.
I am noticing similar trends in the Charity sector, decreased bank balances have affected recruitment, however I can see some disturbing trends in the sector right now;
- Restructuring to reduce team size
- Vacated roles not being replaced
- The tasks of vacated roles being allocated to already overloaded existing staff
- DIY recruitment; senior fundraisers in smaller charities being directed by boards or management to recruit their own staff to save money
DIY recruitment is punishing for staff in the sector. Fundraisers are working twice as hard to maintain funding levels despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. To ask them to take on the task of recruitment is a false economy and the process is never going to be fast or simple.
If you are doing DIY recruitment here are some crucial areas to get right:
- Track the process
Set up a system e.g. a spreadsheet so that you can track applications; date received, whether you have replied to applicants, rate them so that you can easily see who might make it to a short-list.
Set up a special folder in your inbox, record, reply and file applications as soon as they come in, that way you won’t feel that you are drowning as your inbox fills up exponentially.
- Tailor your Advertising
Since 58% of job seekers use their mobile phones to look at jobs on Seek, it’s better to have a small teaser as an ad. Do not just paste up the full JD, this is off-putting for people who want to make a quick choice based on a basic match for skills, experience and salary.
The ad needs to clearly state a summary of the role and the skills and experience you need in the person to be able to carry it out. Advertising is about attracting the right people, if you want a professional fundraiser then you have to use the right language to attract them. Get the title right - do some research into the titles other charities use, it’s very confusing to the sector when a title does not match the tasks.
Should you display the salary? Yes, it will save time by weeding out people who are too senior or too junior. If there is no salary advertised then people have to guess from the JD or the title what the level of the role is. Make it easier on yourself and the candidate by supplying this information with a bracket (depending on experience) or circa (an amount in the middle of your bracket).
If you are scared of offending existing staff then you probably have issues with pay parity that a simple lunchroom conversation could blow wide open anyway. You will always get better results and loyalty if you pay staff market rates.
Seek offers good tips on how to place and promote your ad, on the back end under ‘employer’ you will see the statistics of how many people have viewed your ad, try swapping the listing category to get more views e.g. from community to a specialist area like marketing.
The ad should be used to drive people to the full JD so that only the most suitable a) look at it and b) apply.
- The Job Description
I am seeing some very vague JDs, where the actual day to day tasks of the role are not being spelt out. List each specific area of fundraising with its associated tasks, preferably in order of time spent on them. What are the KPIs of the role? Who are the direct reports? (titles/areas worked on). Give lots of information about the fundraising the charity does; size of programmes, income by area – it’s all publicly available via your annual report anyway.
Be clear how much experience you need; if you say you are ok with experience in marketing, sales or fundraising then you are sending a mixed message about whether you want a fully formed fundraiser or you are willing to train someone – the difference is often $10k in salary or the equivalent in hours of training and supervision needed.
JDs are in the public domain so you can use and modify ones you have found on Seek or FINZ for your own role.
- Is DIY cost-effective?
The biggest problem for our sector is that 95% of fundraisers are already employed (maybe slightly less now with more people on the market) but most of them are not actively looking at their Seek or FINZ job alerts. So, most DIY recruitment will not find these people – this is what you pay an expert for. As a professional in this field with a wealth of knowledge and contacts, my services are now available by the hour as a plug-in specialist, so that I can assist at any point of the recruitment process.
DIY recruitment costs your charity time and money; recruitments can take at least 40 hours, if your senior fundraiser is doing the work (with a salary of $40-50 per hour), you are effectively spending $2,000 of their time when they could be working on income generating activities. This does not include time spent on-boarding and training.
Work smart, push back, get help where needed and I wish you all the best with your recruitment.
Tilda Bostwick lives and breathes the NFP sector, she is a Fellow of the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ), is compassionate and a great matchmaker.
Fundraising Talent Recruitment is Tilda’s national agency which specialises in recruiting professional fundraisers for the not-for-profit sector.