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Internal hiring can help fill your not-for-profit’s open job positions

In January 2024, the U.S. economy added 353,000 new jobs. At a current rate of 3.7%, the unemployment rate has remained lower than 4% for two years. Although that’s generally great news for jobseekers and the economy, it tends to make the task of hiring not-for-profit staffers challenging. So why not look internally? Promoting existing employees generally is less expensive than external hiring and the candidates are already knowledgeable about your organization. Let’s take a look.

Save costs and time

If you choose to recruit from within, you can expect to save on costs such as advertising on job boards and engaging recruiters. Promoting internally also can speed up the process. It’s usually faster and easier to identify and interview employees than it is to find and schedule meetings with outside candidates.

In addition, promoting employees can help boost morale and improve retention. One reason some employees leave their jobs is because they don’t see opportunities for advancement. Staff members might be less likely to feel this way if they see colleagues promoted to higher positions. Plus, you probably already have a feel for internal candidates’ strengths, weaknesses, personalities and performance capabilities. Even if a promotion leaves a lower-level staff position open, it’s usually easier to find external employees to fill entry-level positions.

Not risk-free

However, promoting existing staffers isn’t risk-free. Some simply aren’t cut out to be managers or to fill other highly skilled roles. Plus, there could be resentment on the part of employees who weren’t promoted and now must report to someone who used to be their peer. So shifting emphasis to internal promotions shouldn’t mean giving up on outside hires. Although it’s smaller than it used to be, the greater job market still offers a much larger pool of candidates. And new employees could provide fresh perspectives and innovative ideas for improving programs or moving in a better strategic direction.

Depending on the position, outside hires also can bring new skills and experience to roles that might lead to more efficient processes and improved financial performance. And recruiting outsiders could lessen resentment among employees who were passed over for a promotion, as well as the unhealthy competition that can arise when employees vie against each other for a position.

Budgeting for staffers

The continuing tight job market may require you to juggle a couple different hiring strategies. Consider looking first within your organization for potential candidates. If there’s a qualified fit, pursue that internal candidate. Otherwise, start looking elsewhere. Keep in mind that with more employers chasing fewer workers, you may need to offer a higher salary or better benefits to land the talent of your choice. Contact us to discuss making your budget stretch to cover the staffing resources you need.

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