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5 Key Talent Acquisition Trends Impacting the Not-for-Profit Industry

May 31, 2023 4 Min Read Retained Executive Search
Adam Berman Director-in-Charge, Retained Executive Search

In today’s unique talent ecosystem, the Talent Acquisition function has become even more critical for organizations to achieve their objectives. The not-for-profit sector, in particular, is not exempt from the challenges that exist. Not-for-profits are facing obstacles in attracting and retaining talent, and thus, have had to adapt to new ways of sourcing, selecting, and onboarding employees just like their for-profit counterparts.

There have been several notable trends in talent acquisition in recent years that not-for-profits should be incorporating, expanding, or upgrading.

Here are five of the top trends we’re seeing:

  1. Technology. Like the for-profit world, not-for-profits are increasingly using technology to attract, engage, and hire top talent. This includes the use of applicant tracking systems (ATS) to streamline the recruitment process and automate repetitive tasks, including resume screening and interview scheduling. More and more organizations are examining the use of AI to identify candidates. Additionally, expanding the use of video interviewing platforms to conduct initial screenings saves time and resources.
  2. Employer branding. Not-for-profits are becoming more aware of the importance of building a strong employer brand to attract and retain top talent. This includes creating a positive image of the organization, highlighting its mission and values, and showcasing its impact on the community. Not-for-profits are also leveraging social media and other digital platforms to showcase their employer brand and engage with potential candidates.
  3. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). DEI has become a critical focus in not-for-profit talent acquisition. Many not-for-profits have historically led the way in this space, but as more and more for-profit entities are recognizing the importance of DEI in their own talent functions, not-for-profits must excel at building diverse and inclusive teams to compete. This includes implementing DEI initiatives in recruitment, such as targeted outreach to underrepresented groups and making concerted efforts to identify and remove bias from the selection process.
    The use of technology can help with this but use caution to fully understand the implications of technology used to bolster DEI talent efforts. For instance, in 2018 Amazon stopped using its AI-based recruiting software after learning that the algorithm was biased against women. Plus, since diversity candidates may have an atypical educational and/or a non-traditional work history, some keyword-based DEI recruitment software may inadvertently eliminate the very candidates companies are trying to recruit. So understand the potential for a double edged sword when using technology.

    Not-for-profits are also offering training and development opportunities on inclusion and belonging to their employees to foster a culture that helps differentiate their employment brand.

  4. Remote work. The pandemic forced many not-for-profits to shift to remote work, and this trend is likely to continue. Not-for-profits are recognizing that remote work can offer flexibility, access to new talent, and cost savings. Thus, they are expanding their talent pool to include remote workers. This includes implementing remote work policies and leveraging technology to facilitate remote work, such as video conferencing and collaboration tools.
  5. Skills-based hiring. Not-for-profit organizations are recognizing that traditional education and experience requirements may not be the best indicators of job performance. Instead, they are shifting towards skills-based hiring and focusing more on the specific proficiencies needed for the job. This includes using skills assessments and performance-based interviews to evaluate candidates' abilities.

The current tight talent ecosystem has not-for-profit talent acquisition undergoing significant changes, driven by technology, employer branding, DEI initiatives, remote work, and skills-based hiring. These trends are helping not-for-profits attract and retain top talent, build diverse and inclusive teams, and achieve their mission. Organizations that embrace these trends and adapt their talent acquisition strategies will be better positioned to compete for talent and achieve their organizational objectives.

If you would like to discuss how these trends may be impacting your organization, please contact Adam Berman, Director-in-Charge, Human Capital Resources at Email.

Adam Berman can be reached at Email or 215.441.4600.

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Adam Berman

Adam Berman

Director-in-Charge, Retained Executive Search

Retained Executive Search Specialist

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