If you're a new job seeker in the nonprofit sector, you might be having trouble getting your foot in the door.
It's not so much a lack of jobs that is causing this, but the fact that so many applicants are very experienced.
That's one of the findings of a recent survey by Idealist of nonprofit job seekers and hiring managers. Idealist questioned more than 1,000 U.S.-based nonprofits and 3,000 active job seekers about hiring plans and job seeking experiences.
The survey is detailed in Voices from the Sector, available at the Idealist website. Here are some of the highlights from it:
- Things are looking up, with 48% of the nonprofits surveyed planning to make new hires this year. In addition, 54% said they plan to give salary increases (last year only 47% said so).
- Job candidates are more experienced and somewhat older. Many (30%) are over age 50; and more than a quarter (26%) have more than 11 years of prior experience in nonprofit work.
- Most people seeking work in the nonprofit world are committed to good causes, with 83% having volunteered. Of people who are currently employed in the sector, 33% are looking for the opportunity to advance and to develop in their careers.
- Hiring managers are looking for applicants who pay attention to detail and follow instructions as they move through the hiring process. They are also looking for people who understand and have a passion for their organization's mission.
- A conflict between job applicants and hiring managers is that applicants complain about not hearing from the organizations to which they have applied; while the managers are so busy that they don't want applicants to call to follow up.
Idealist recommends that job seekers make sure they are applying only to those organizations that are a good fit for their own passions and potential contributions; and that organizations find ways to support their current employees in their desire for training and advancement.
Read more about Nonprofit Careers:
- Does a Master's Degree Help a Nonprofit Career?
- How to Find Your Dream Nonprofit Job
- Best Nonprofit Job Search Websites
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