In the End, It All Comes Down to People
2013 is almost upon us. How are you planning to improve your department or perhaps your entire organization in the new year?
May I suggest a three-step process that, based on my experience, is guaranteed to yield far-reaching, positive results?
It's not multichannel marketing or targeting better or launching DRTV — although all those are worth your consideration.
Oddly enough, I'm not going to write about digital or fundraising ratios or long-term donor value.
I want to talk about people.
Whether your nonprofit organization is large or small, national or local, thriving or struggling, the three steps you can make to dramatically improve are simple:
- Hire smarter.
- Train better.
- Fire faster.
It's simple, but it's not easy.
Perhaps nothing makes a more powerful impact on an organization than hiring the right people. Yet too often we base hiring decisions on our gut. We hire people we feel comfortable with (most likely those most "like us"). We choose merely from résumés we receive rather than actively searching for and recruiting the best person for the job.
Many nonprofits settle for mediocre candidates because "we don't pay enough to get better candidates." How important is it to cure cancer? To feed hungry people? To teach our youth? To save our environment? Important enough to get the right people for the job?
● Paint a picture. Define the ideal candidate for the job, based on the specific responsibilities he or she will have and actions he or she will need to take.
● Proactively recruit the person you are looking for. Can you imagine a major-league sports team waiting for résumés to come in to fill a top coaching position? Sports teams recruit from the best coaches out there. Isn't your mission worth the same effort? Ask yourself where you can get your ideal candidate's attention. LinkedIn? CareerBuilder? Make sure your opening is posted there.
Tom Harrison is the former chair of Russ Reid and Omnicom's Nonprofit Group of Agencies. He served as chair of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.