Scottish Fundraising Conference

As part of the Scottish Fundraising Conference, I was asked this question and more and more of our charity clients are facing difficulties recruiting and retaining staff. You can watch the video of the interview here or read the synopsis below:

Increased pressure on salaries across all levels

  • The cost of living crisis means that people need higher salaries to live on, whilst other sectors have been able to action this, the charity sector has struggled to keep pace.
  • This is particularly true for entry-level roles, which are often still advertised at £25,000, realistically this needs to be £27,000 or over to attract first-time-jobbers. If this isn’t actioned it will only fuel the candidate shortage in years to come, across all levels.
  • Due to this, we’ve also seen more and more people leaving the charity sector for commercial sector jobs, leading to a huge dearth of candidates between the £32,000 – £42,000 level.

Tailoring recruitment processes

  • Charities need to focus more on the audience they are trying to appeal to when creating a recruitment plan and messaging needs to be consistent across their “Work for us” pages, job packs, and interview processes. Candidates want to know your hybrid working policy, salary, pay progression, and training budgets so making sure these things are defined is key.

The charity sector no longer has a monopoly on being ethical employers

  • People used to have to work in the charity sector to get the feeling they were helping the world and doing the right thing, but with the rise of B-Corps and traditional commercial organisations repositioning themselves as values-led and ethical, we aren’t attracting people at the same volume.

Retention of staff hasn’t been enough of a priority

  • Training and development are opportunities so many people are looking for from their employers, ensuring there is a budget and that you are investing in staff is key
  • Thanking and appreciating is something we could probably all do more of with our teams. Fundraising is an emotional rollercoaster of a job with a lot of rejection so ensuring we are recognising our teams verbally, particularly when we can’t do it financially is key to retaining people
  • Linked to the above point on being an ethical employer, could charities be doing more to retain staff?  By focusing their teams on the impact their work is having and really emphasising its values and importance can remind staff what attracted them to the sector in the first place

Still not enough focus on considering commercial sector candidates and transferrable skills

  • With fundraisers leaving the sector and fewer people choosing the charity sector for their first jobs, charities need to be more open to finding candidates from other areas. Yes, there are nuances to working for charities but it doesn’t mean the core skills are unsurmountable – focusing on things like – relationship building, generating revenue, proposal writing, project management and then providing some training means you can transition people in and build a more cognitively diverse workforce.

If you are thinking about how you can better attract and retain teams we are hosting an event covering this with one of the most revered leaders in the sector. You can book your free ticket here.