Nonprofit Compensation Practices and Benchmarking Report Finds Mission Alignment the Top Factor in Hiring

Career Blazers Nonprofit Search has released its national 2023 Nonprofit Compensation Practices and Benchmarking Report, assessing nonprofit recruiting, hiring and retention of talent, along with salaries for 38 executive job titles across six organizational budget sizes.

The report found that factors that carry the most weight in hiring depend somewhat on the role, yet a genuine passion for the cause cannot be underestimated in any role. Sixty-five percent of respondents rated mission alignment as one of the top three most important factors in hiring. “Mission alignment tops the chart. Proven skills and experience are seen as a requirement, yet organizations seem to be placing similar value on hard and soft skills, likely because hard skills, although critical to the execution of the role, can be trained while soft skill acquisition is not as easily achieved,” said Barbara Gebhardt, CEO.

Salary and benefits have always been important in attracting talent and it is not a surprise that in the current market, organizations have reexamined their compensation packages to ensure that they stack up in the marketplace. Offering work location options, work/life flexibility, a culture of continued learning and development, and meaningful work is notable in hiring and retaining key talent.

Fifty-two percent of the survey respondents report the average vacancy/length of time to replace or hire new talent is 60-120 days, with 20% reporting a longer length of time before positions are filled. “Longer length of time to fill positions is reflective of a job market where candidates have choices, particularly in larger markets. The specific length of time to get a new employee in place varies based on role, the candidate pool in a specific location, flexibility for remote or hybrid options, and the organization’s efficiency of recruitment strategies,” said Gebhardt.

Despite the turbulence in DEIB efforts in 2023, a commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging remains critical to employee recruiting, acquisition, engagement, and retention. As an increasing number of organizations have DEIB programs in place, focus has turned to integration and accountability of program efforts. Candidates want to know if a DEIB program is in place and how employers are measuring progress.

Job Boards seem to be a base standard to recruit nonprofit talent, casting a wide net to a range of job seekers. Even with a myriad of methodologies to reach new candidates – nine were surveyed – less than 50% of the respondents feel they are reaching the best candidates. The most difficult roles to fill are Development (46% of respondents), followed by Program Management, Finance, and Administration.

The national report shares current salary data for key positions within a nonprofit organization and identifies staffing trends in a dynamic talent market to help nonprofit organizations plan for 2024.