Recruiting and managing a dynamic staff team is crucial to serving your mission. You need a clear and comprehensive strategy if you want to ensure that your organization has the following characteristics:
- The organization has a diverse staff with people placed in well-matched roles
- The people provide the right mix of skills to achieve the organization’s goals
- Fair compensation and benefits that support both employee and organizational success
- Employees and volunteers display attitudes and behaviors that are consistent with the organization’s values and the culture the organization wishes to communicate internally and externally
- Employees and volunteers feel that they are valued, treated fairly, and have the opportunity to develop additional skills and knowledge.
Getting the Right People On Board
In order to get the right people, you need to pay careful attention to how jobs are designed and how jobs fit together in the organization. Job descriptions should speak not only to the tasks the person will do, but to the skills and characteristics that are important to the role.
Include the pay range in job postings. This helps you attract applicants willing to accept your salary range and signals that you will treat people fairly. Historically, there is evidence that women, people of color, and immigrants are offered lower salaries. Here are some sample job descriptions and other hiring guidance:
- Legal and illegal questions when hiring
- Hiring your first employee? Everything you need to know about payroll.
Be careful about using people in contracted roles. There are important federal laws about who can be considered a contractor. Similarly, there are U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rules about interns and about the payment of stipends to volunteers. It is a good idea to consult with an employment law attorney to assure that you are following these complicated rules. If you cannot afford an attorney, in Washington State, contact Communities Rise. Outside of Washington? Similar low cost legal services for nonprofits may be available in your community.
- Department of Labor rules regarding interns
- Stipends - It is possible to legally pay a volunteer a stipend only if it is a reimbursement of some types of expenses or a nominal payment. The Department of Labor will presume that a fee paid to a volunteer is nominal as long as the stipend is not more than twenty percent of what an organization would pay if they hired a full-time employee to perform the same service. See the Wage and Hour Opinion Letter: FLSA2006-28.
- Payroll Q&A / checklist and calculator from WA State Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance
Part of ensuring that you have the right people is being open to and actively encouraging of diversity on your staff. Here are some resources that can help ensure that you have an environment that embraces diversity and builds cultural competency.
Now, take a look at job boards where nonprofits frequently post job openings:
Diversity and Inclusion
Nonprofit staff tend to come from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds and have diverse gender identities, sexual orientations, and religious beliefs.This diversity is an organizational asset and helps the organization better serve the community. More than ever, it is essential that we cultivate a more inclusive work environment that makes everyone feel safe and supported.
- The National Council of Nonprofits explains why diversity, inclusion, and equity matters for the nonprofit sector.
- Massachusetts-based TSNE MissionWorks provides a step-by-step guide on achieving a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
- Read “Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap,” and other report commissioned by the Building Movement Project. Hint: We have a long way to go!
By giving employees information about the organization, its personnel policies, and how personnel matters are handled, you can help ensure employees have clear expectations. An employee handbook is an essential tool for setting out the philosophy and expectations of the organization.
The National Council of Nonprofits provides a sample employee handbook template for guidance only. The provided information is subject to change due to changes in federal, state, or local laws and regulations, so you should seek expert or legal assistance to make certain your interpretation and decisions are appropriate for your organization.
This SHRM guide from the Society for Human Resource Management provides a roadmap for developing and implementing a performance management approach that helps employees succeed.
Lastly, you'll find many helpful resources on Human Resources & Supervision from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (recruitment, hiring, termination, risk management, etc.)