Tag Archives: Interviewing

Nonprofit Hiring in the Time of Layoffs, Furloughs and Unpaid Leave

We are living in a brave new world, the world’s largest work-from-home experiment. While remote work is certainly not a new phenomenon, the Coronavirus outbreak has forced nonprofits to transition without preparation. This sudden change has put a strain an organization’s ability to perform the basics of nonprofit hiring and recruit new employees.

What makes the current situation especially daunting and difficult for organizations and executive search firms like ours? Simply, most nonprofit hiring programs have been heavily reliant on face-to-face interactions. How could you get a good read on the personality and motivation of a candidate if you were not sitting directly in front of him or her?

Now, we are all more keenly aware of the importance of agility and digitization of recruitment and onboarding processes. Nonprofit hiring is changing, and we, as a sector, need to catch up.

For all too many organizations, this pandemic has led to layoffs, furloughs, and unpaid leave to stay lean and minimize losses. This creates an advantage to the bold enterprise which seeks new talent.  But full-time remote work has become, and is likely to remain, the new normal.  The question is are you ready and equipped to pivot your recruitment process to go fully virtual?

Best Practices

In a virtual world, candidates encounter their new employers through a process that is regrettably often confusing and disorganized. To make the recruitment process the most effective it can be—both for the organization as well as from the candidate’s point of view, we recommend the following best practices:

  • Engage a search firm, like Mersky, Jaffe & Associates with years of demonstrated experience in recruiting and hiring in a virtual environment.
  • Conduct an Organizational and Development Assessment. Additionally, interview key stakeholders about the job and ask them to help define the characteristics of the successful new hire.
  • Create a clear, results-oriented position description.
  • Identify and train the hiring officer who will screen the initial candidates and select two to advance to the second level.
  • Determine who else from the staff needs to meet the two semi-finalist candidates, one-on-one—members of the team, supervisors, or senior management.
  • Select volunteer leaders for a third round of one-on-one interviews to interact with the potential new hire.
  • Create an on-line feed-back form to gather reactions from all those who have met with the candidates. (Connect with me by clicking here if you would like a sample form for feedback that you can employ.)
  • The hiring officer then collates all the responses from the feedback forms and decides on the finalist.
  • Confirm that the finalist will accept a satisfactory offer if it is made, subject to reference checks and a one-on-one meeting with the CEO and Chair of the Board.
  • Check references,
  • Negotiate final terms and conditions.

If organizations continue to be reactive and employ antiquated nonprofit hiring practices, it will have devastating consequences if the future of work continues as full-time remote work.  Schedule a time to speak with me about your executive search needs in this new world by clicking here.

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MJA Executive Search in the current environment

Last winter, we announced that we would be listing compensation in our job postings to increase transparency and, in our small way, address the issue of gender inequity in salaries in the nonprofit world.  But, as I have noted above, the world of work and recruiting has changed.  In some cases, we are seeking new executives in organizations that are experiencing lay-offs, furloughs, and job elimination.  It is indeed a different world.  As such, we have suspended this practice until we return to a time of greater equilibrium.

See the current Executive Search Opportunities by clicking here