New Report Highlights Staffing Challenges for Associations in 2018

PNP Staffing Group released the findings of its annual report on staffing trends and salaries in the nonprofit sector. While groups plan on hiring more staff in 2018, the report says competition for talent is greater than ever.

Most associations are planning on recruiting new staff in the coming year, according to PNP Staffing Group aka Professionals for Nonprofits’ 2018 Nonprofit Salaries and Staffing Trends Report. In fact, 80 percent of survey respondents plan on hiring in 2018, citing increasing numbers of retirees, employee turnover, and program growth as the main reasons.

Upward of 1,500 nonprofit organizations participated in the survey, which was segmented into three marketplaces—New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC—and includes salary ranges across 44 positions in the nonprofit world.

“It is a candidate market in the sense that the unemployment rate is a low 4 percent,” said Gayle Brandel, CEO of PNP Staffing Group. “And as baby boomers are now giving leadership posts over to millennials, the competition for experienced talent has really hit an all-time high. It is also fueled by the fact that there’s growth in the sector. Nonprofits are growing, and it is most certainly more competitive than ever to find the talent to bring on board.”

In the DC marketplace, 64 percent of nonprofits experienced at least one job candidate turn down the organization’s best offer and go somewhere else. To effectively compete for talent, Brandel said it’s key to offer the right salaries. “If an organization down the block is offering more money for the same type of position, then you know that you’re not going to be able to compete effectively to get that person on board,” she said.

But, according to the DC report, candidates also value an organization’s mission and reputation, culture, benefits, and opportunities for growth and development. “Salaries are key—absolutely—but brand is very important too,” Brandel said. “But many, many candidates will come on to work for an association or nonprofit because of their mission—because of their brand.”

The report also highlighted a skills gap, with 54 percent of respondents saying they encountered a skills gap when recruiting in 2017. Although people might look good on paper, skills—such as communication, teamwork among others—aren’t up to snuff.

“This reinforces the continuing need for improved training programs and professional development to not only recruit, but to retain, talented executives,” Brandel said in a press release.

In addition, a majority of respondents remarked that they would push the limits of the organization’s budgets to hire more qualified, high-performance talent rather than stay within budget by hiring someone with less experience.

“The overall message that we got from these particular surveys in each of the marketplaces … is that the association and nonprofit sector keeps growing, that there is a real competition for really strong talent in all of those marketplaces, and that in order for you to compete effectively—and get the talent that you need—you need to pay salaries in the right ranges,” Brandel said.

(Bet_Noire/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Emily Bratcher

By Emily Bratcher

Emily Bratcher is a Contributing Editor for Associations Now. MORE

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