Labor Market Statistics

Like other sectors, nonprofits have reported difficulty in retaining staff and filling open positions during Q3 and Q4 of 2021. The National Council of Nonprofits recently conducted a study titled, “The Scope and Impact of Nonprofit Workforce Shortages” and found these job vacancy rates:

• 24% reported vacancies of between 0% and 9%.
• 34% shared job vacancy rates of between 10% and 19%.
• 26% responded that they had job openings for 20% to 29% of their positions.
• 16% percent reported vacancies greater than 30%.

The National Council’s report noted the following causes,

• 79% identified salary competition as a factor preventing them from filling job openings.
• 23% stated that the inability to find childcare affected recruitment and retention.
• 19% of respondents noted vaccination policies as the culprit, although this response waned toward the end of the survey period.
• Comments from nonprofits identified seven more causes of workforce shortages, including “stress” and “burnout.”

What can a nonprofit do to increase their workforce? The Forbes Nonprofit Council has a few suggestions. One is to “right-size” salaries at all levels because the labor market is clearly indicating employees will not work for substandard wages. Nonprofit employees can very often be undercompensated. Another is to search for those professionals who left the for-profit arena due to a lack of meaning in their lives. These professionals are highly skilled, but the pandemic has made them question what the most important use of their time is. These individuals are perfect recruits for the nonprofit sector. Finally, it may help to consider contract workers. Virtual assistants and consultants who work remotely may prove to be invaluable during the labor shortage. They will cost less and there may be a growing trend for staff to work outside the typical structure of the organization. These workers can name their own hours and do not have to come into an office, which many find preferable.

For more information, find the National Council of Nonprofits report, “The Scope and Impact of Nonprofit Workforce Shortages” and Forbes article, “15 Ways Nonprofits Can Address The Current Labor Shortage And Entice New Talent” online.