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by Floyd Rumohr

Click here to watch the Onboarding videos. Select title 4.1 or 4.2 in the Rumohr and Clarke Video & Template Library.

After a rigorous hiring process, you and your team have settled on the candidate with the skills, capabilities, working style, and organizational compatibility to succeed at your organization. Now what?

This is just the moment where many nonprofit leaders and managers make one of their biggest hiring mistakes: the new hire arrives on his or her first day to a full in-box and no plan for the person to get acquainted with the organization’s people and practices. Onboarding, which is a process of inward transition for new team members, sets-up the new hire for success and is an essential part of the process particularly when we consider that:

  • HALF of senior hires fail within 18 months
  • HALF of all hourly workers leave within 120 days

The above findings from SHRM are compelling in the nonprofit sector even though they derive from for-profit companies. In addition, SHRM reports that departing senior hires cost up to 150% of annual salary and hourly workers up to 75% of annual wages.

Let’s think about it from the perspective of one nonprofit staff member. The annual salary of the director of development in our case study at a New York City youth services nonprofit was $80,000. Potential costs to fill the position could be as high as $120,000 using the SHRM findings as a mathematical basis.

In addition to reducing turnover costs, effective onboarding results in:

  • Higher job satisfaction
  • Organizational commitment
  • Higher performance levels
  • Lowered stress

How high are turnover rates at your nonprofit? A revolving door could be the symptom of a dysfunctional modus operandi. If so, then perhaps it’s time to take a look at human resource practices that include onboarding, professional development and training, and even organizational culture – especially true of small nonprofits that may have a small staff with vital roles and functions.

Watch the Onboarding Overview video in the Rumohr and Clarke Video and Template Library. Click here and select title 4.1.

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Watch the Using the Onboarding Checklist video in the Rumohr and Clarke Video and Template Library. Click here and select title 4.2.

References and recommended reading:

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by Floyd Rumohr

Hiring. Yikes. Like it or not, executive, program, development, or artistic directors have to do it at one point or another. It doesn’t have to be a headache.

Marla Cornelius, Senior Project Director at CompassPoint, a nonprofit consulting firm, said in a New York Times piece that “There’s no such thing as a period of time when you’re not challenged by staff issues as the leader of a nonprofit. And since many nonprofits don’t have a dedicated human resources staff person, managing personnel just sucks you in and takes over your life.”

This series of blog articles is intended to mitigate the life-dominating forces of the hiring process and build the human resource capacity of small and midsize nonprofits through the following topics, most of which have at least one accompanying video:

  • Hiring Process Stages: six stages of the hiring process used during a national search for a director of development are described.
  • Purpose of Interviews: asking questions of candidates is a necessary part of the process. This is a brief reminder about the role interviews play for those new to hiring.
  • The Hiring Manager: a position description is provided for the responsibilities and role into which many nonprofit leaders and managers are plunged.
  • High Inquiry Interview Questions: get candidates thinking deeply instead of responding with memorized responses to anticipated questions.
  • Focusing Questions: learn how to focus questions to get the information you need in 1) skills and experience, and 2) working style and organizational compatibility.
  • Multiple Perspectives: avoid common hiring mistakes by engaging different perspectives in the interview process.
  • Evaluating Candidate Responses: fairly evaluate and capture candidate responses by examining the scoring and grading systems used in a national search for a director of development.
  • Onboarding: what is it? why do it? what are its benefits?

Next up: hiring process stages.

References and recommended reading: