Sparkrock Blog

3 Trends that will Impact your Nonprofit’s Approach to Workforce Management in 2018

by   Cait Abernethy on 08.25.17

It’s hardly a secret that the human services and nonprofit sectors have long underinvested in their most valuable asset - their people - and over the last decade this problem has unfortunately gotten worse, not better.

But we predict that the tide will finally begin to turn in 2018; this will be the year when talent will become a top priority for nonprofits and their funders. Why? It’s safe to assume that the changing political climate and administration in the US will put future investments in social programs and services at risk. As a result, the demands placed on nonprofit organizations will likely increase  while financial support and government funding decreases. Human service agencies, nonprofits, and their supporters are now being forced to recognize that if they hope to effectively address the needs of their communities and advance their missions in the years to come, they must have creative, capable teams in place who can find ways to deliver results under difficult circumstances. Employees - qualified, well-resourced, engaged employees - are the answer to many of the challenges the sector is currently facing and will face in 2018.

Topics: Workforce Management , Workforce

6 Proven Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Talent in Human Services

by   Meghan Holmes on 08.08.17

In 2016, the turnover rate for Direct Support Professionals rose to a staggering 51%. Although there are admittedly many barriers that human services agencies face when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees, this number is extremely high. And with over half of most agencies’ staff being replaced every year, it becomes not only increasingly expensive to replace employees (the average turnover cost at $3,000-$5,000 per employee), but there's also a direct impact on existing staff who are burdened with an increased workload and on the clients who receive a lower quality of care.

Topics: Workforce Management , Workforce , Operations

The 4 Main Barriers Human Services Face with Recruiting and Retaining Talent

by   Meghan Holmes on 07.24.17

Workforce recruitment and retention in the Human Services industry is at a crisis level. Organizations are reporting staff vacancies of 20% and an astonishingly high average turnover rate of 51%. This leaves us all wondering - what's stopping qualified talent from working (and staying) in human services? 

Topics: Workforce Management , Workforce , Operations

6 Ways Applicant Tracking will Elevate your Hiring Process

by   David Popovich on 06.26.17

In order to deliver high quality services to the individuals they serve, Human Services agencies must similarly attract high quality talent to add to their teams. But finding the right person to join your organization can be a daunting task, and managing each step in the talent acquisition process often takes more time than anticipated. Between coordinating human resources, hiring managers, and upper management - the task can quickly become a behemoth. Skipped processes, broken communication channels, missing information, and lost applications can significantly impact the speed and success of your hiring process.

Topics: Outcomes-Impact , Workforce , Technology

Five Must-Ask Questions When Interviewing a Direct Support Professional

by   Stefanie Gause on 06.21.17

 

Stefanie originally wrote this post for the Nov/Dec Issue of ANCOR LINKS.

It takes a lot of work and skill to become a great Direct Support Professional. It also takes a lot of work to hire a great Direct Support Professional. The interview is the most important stage of the hiring process because it's where you see if the individual has the personal touch needed to effectively care for your organization's clients. To help ease the hiring process at your organization, we've made a list of the 5 must-ask questions in a Direct Support Professional interview:

Topics: Workforce

Reducing the Workload for Your HR Team

by   Meghan Holmes on 05.24.17

HR staff play a crucial role in your organization that affects your employees in many ways, and in smaller organizations, they usually have to be a jack of all trades. This puts a lot of pressure on your HR team to support employees while still managing and keeping the integrity of other projects, especially if employees are constantly coming to you with small, tedious tasks. 

Let's face it— there aren't enough hours in the workday for you to accomplish all of your HR responsibilities. 

Topics: Workforce , Sparkrock

How to Create a Volunteer Handbook

by   Cait Abernethy on 05.02.17

People volunteer for an endless variety of reasons. Many people want to gain experience, acquire new skills, meet new people, or expand their network of contacts as a way to get a new job or start a career. Others just want to give back to their community, help a friend, or promote a worthwhile activity. They do it because it makes them feel good. It gives them what some describe as a "private smile."

Even though volunteers are willing to give a great deal of their talents and free time, they are an asset that is largely underutilized. If your organization is thinking about developing a volunteer program but don't know how to create a volunteer handbook, look no further. Here are six important sections to make sure you include in your handbook:

Topics: Workforce Management , Workforce

Guide to Hiring an Exceptional Executive Director at your Nonprofit

by   Cait Abernethy on 04.26.17

Hiring an executive director is one of the most important actions that the governing board of a nonprofit agency will take. The board depends on its director to achieve the agency’s purposes and objectives within the constraints of its budget on a day-to-day basis—not an easy task to accomplish year in and year out. Also, the working relationship between the director and the board, the staff, volunteers, clients, funding organizations, and other service agencies can significantly influence the agency’s effectiveness and reputation in the community. But finding a great Executive Director can be a tricky process as they are senior positions, but tend not to be as well paid as in the private sector, meaning that hiring someone who is in it for more than just financial compensation, someone who is in it because of passion, is critical.

 

Topics: Finance , Outcomes-Impact , Workforce Management , Workforce

De-Stressing Schedulers: Taking the Weight off Their Shoulders with Technology

by   Stefanie Gause on 03.23.17

Originally published in ANCOR's Links Issue #1

Topics: Workforce

Why Employee Turnover is Off the Charts (and How to Manage It)

by   Cait Abernethy on 03.10.17

Human Services are just that—human. They’re run for people, by people. That’s why the high staff turnover rate (24.26% in Child Welfare Services alone) in these types of organizations has critical implications for organizational effectiveness and human well-being. 

According to a study published in the Journal of Social Work it appears that there are five major reasons why support workers and frontline staff are choosing to leave human service organizations (and subsequently putting more work onto the remaining staff’s plates).

In order to fix a problem, you first need to identify what it is. So, while this post does highlight a number of problems, it also offers a solution. By recognizing these issues, Human Services can adapt within their orgnizations to become even more effective and continue to deliver the life changing services that improve our society.

Topics: Workforce

How generosity can help you manage your teams better

by   Cait Abernethy on 11.22.16

 

With Giving Tuesday and the holidays just around the corner, we – as well as many of the clients we work with – have generosity at the top of our mind. And while generosity to others during this time of year is certainly important, it’s also important to remember to be generous within our workplaces as well. A workplace where staff and team members are listened to, appreciated, supported and praised is a workplace where people want to give their best, where people’s ideas and creativity can unfold. Generosity helps to foster this creativity and helps to boost morale and performance as well as mental and emotional wellbeing among employees.

Topics: Workforce