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  • Writer's pictureRobert Driver

Talent Solutions in a Tight Labor Market



Finding good talent – especially high performers – has never been more challenging. We are in unprecedented times. The National Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that this is the first time in over 40 years that there are more jobs than workers, and it is by a significant margin. Economic uncertainties have resulted in some layoffs, but overall long-term labor availability will remain marginal. In February, the jobless rates fell in 9 states and went up in 3 states, remaining stable in 38 states. James Bullard from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis states that the “labor market performance remains strong.” The biggest reason for this is… demographics – mainly in the retirement of baby boomers. “Despite very high wages and an incredibly tight labor market, we don’t see participation moving up, which is contrary to what we thought,” Mr. Powell from the Fed said during his final news conference of 2022, adding: “Part of it is just accelerated retirements.” (NY Times: Retirees Are One Reason the Fed Has Given Up on a Big Worker Rebound; Smialek, Jeanna and Casselman, Ben; Dec. 27, 2022). Keeping reading below as we share a few talent solutions in a tight labor market with you that can help your organization weather these challenging times.

Several key statements lead to important inferences here:
  • Labor shortages are not going away.

  • Labor shortages are leading to recruitment challenges.

  • Recruitment challenges are leading to significant wage inflation (up 5.1% overall in 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).


What does that mean for nonprofit institutions in recruiting and talent management?


  • In our opinion, and based on what we are seeing, demand for fundraising professionals is outpacing supply.

  • From our conversations, only a few shops are downsizing or reducing fundraising goals. Most nonprofits desire to have increased philanthropic support. Many universities, for example, are adding positions in support of robust campaign ambitions.

  • Competition for top-level talent is increasing, driving significant competitive compensation pressure – often unplanned and unbudgeted.

You are falling behind if you are not considering new ways to recruit top talent and retain your team. If you are not paying attention to what is happening in the marketplace, your team and your fundraising will underperform.


What can you do to ensure that your organization is firing on all cylinders:


Retain Your Talent – According to Gallup, losing an employee costs an organization one-half to two times their annual salary. I posted some tips last week to help with employee retention…click here to check them out.

Train and Grow Your Existing Talent – As mentioned above, finding top talent is difficult. Now is a great time to train your talent within your organization to move up internally.

Streamline Your Interview Process – To hire the best talent, you must put your best foot forward. This means that you must make a great impression during your organization’s interview process to ensure that the top candidates will want to work with you. When it’s done poorly, you end up draining time and costs, and your employer brand will be damaged.

Engage a Recruitment Firm – Having a partner during these tenuous times may be valuable. Good recruitment firms can spend the time to make more outreach and develop the highest level of talent pools. Getting great candidates who align with your mission will lead to higher long-term retention and performance.

How is your organization doing with recruitment and retention? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear what is working and what is not working for your organization. Contact me today for more information, or read more about our development and fundraising search methodology.

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