Giving Compass’ Take:
• On his blog Nonprofit AF, Vu Le discusses the recruitment process for nonprofits and how it needs rethinking: We should recruit, hire, and even fire with more mindfulness to our missions.
• Are we treating staff with enough respect? Are we paying them a decent wage? These are all factors when it comes to ending what Le calls the nonprofit “Hunger Games.”
During my keynote [at the Blue Ridge Institute], I brought up the Nonprofit Hunger Games and how all of us are in constant competition with one another for resources and influence. “I call it Stabbing for Dollars,” says one seasoned nonprofit executive. A manifestation of this is through our hiring philosophies and practices. There are thousands of articles on staff recruitment, retention, etc., but they all have something in common: It is always about the well-being of the organization, getting the best talent for the organization to ensure the organization thrives, rarely about the entire sector or community. We recruit professionals to fulfill our individual missions, not paying much attention to what happens when they leave our organizations, or how the way we treat them might affect their work at their next organization, or our own individual responsibility to support a “bench” of talent needed for the entire sector to thrive.
This is all understandable. This is how we have been trained and how we have been influenced by the corporate sector. But unlike the for-profit sector, the problems we are trying to address are profoundly interrelated. Our missions are interconnected. Our successes depend on the success of other organizations, and staff are the most critical resource we have as a sector.
And so the way we think about talent in the sector needs to change. We must all believe deeply that we have a responsibility not just to our mission, but to the entire sector, and invest in our staff accordingly. Professionals naturally move from one organization to the next, and they will carry with them the strengths or the scars they receive from each org they work at. We need to recruit, hire, train, and even fire staff with the mindset that our actions affect the success or failure of the whole nonprofit community.
Read the full article about ending the nonprofit talent “Hunger Games” by Vu Le at Nonprofit AF.
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