Conference Roundup: Hire Smart
Any nonprofit organization’s success hinges in part on recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest people — and firing those who fall short.
That according to Stacey Girdner, the chief people development officer at Russ Reid Company, a Pasadena, Calif.-based marketing and communications firm that serves nonprofit organizations.
“[Fewer and fewer] people are available for your positions,” Girdner said at the session “Grooming the Next Generation of Fundraisers: How Do I Find, Train and Retain Good People?” at the DMA Nonprofit Federation’s 2008 Leadership Summit held last month in Palm Beach, Fla. “You have to be more strategic.”
Girdner, who has worked in human resources in the nonprofit world for 10 years, gave a number of tips on where to find candidates, how to interview them and how to get rid of those who are no longer making it.
First, if you want to find good people, you have to know where they are.
Nonprofits need to identify the type of background, skills, education and character they want their hires to possess. Then they should find what publications those people read, what Web sites they visit, who they know, what schools they attend, what associations they belong to and where they currently work.
To enlarge candidate pools, Girdner suggests asking current employees how they found out about their jobs. She recommends keeping a “hot file” that includes resumes from people who have the right backgrounds but might not have been the right candidates for previous positions.
“You may already have someone in your file [who is perfect for a current job opening],” she said.
Another good way to expand the pool of potential employees is follow what Girdner calls the “six degrees of separation” model.
“Build a network of people who know people, who know people,” she said, recommending swapping resumes with similarly missioned organizations, paying employees for referrals and keeping in touch with good employees who leave.