Hiring in social sector

NHRDN - Mumbai Chapter Hiring in social sector

Social sector is imperative to the value system of a nation. It forms as a part of nation building while fostering values such as philanthropy, social business, social entrepreneurship and the like. People in this sector are passionate about social issues which plays a vital role in human development. 

Hiring from corporates to work with social sector has started trending with a positive influx of professionals from the corporate sector; with more professionals from engineering and MBA background opting to work with the social sector. The competitive recruitment scenario employs professionals from corporates, where their skills can be utilised for betterment of the society. Initially, NGOs were considered to be retirement plans by most of the experts in the corporate sector; social sector is now considered to be challenging and exciting. Today, we see that 0.3-0.5 per cent of the country’s workforce is in the social sector. Post 2011, this trend has strengthened in India, since the NGOs started raising funds locally from corporates, and partnerships. Moreover the social sector has become more entrepreneurial, learning lessons from the private sector about how to operate efficiently and adopting marketing techniques to enhance their fund-raising efforts. This has also given an impetus to more professionals from the corporates taking an interest in social sector.

Some key areas which have given a boost to hiring in the non-profit sector. 

  • Different government programmes and collaborations with the private sector have led to diversification of job profiles and better opportunities for growth
  • Employees get to perform a generalist as well as specialist roles – which gives most of the prospective recruits a broader skill development and learning spectrum
  • Opportunities to take on many responsibilities is available
  • Relevant hikes can be expected for deserving employees
  • Rewards and Recognition
  • Opportunities for young people to build careers 
  • Roles offered are challenging 
  • Personal satisfaction 

Initially, in social sector, hiring was based on internal references, where people were referred by employees working within the organisation. While this is still an effective way, social sector organisations have changed from the conventional hiring methodology of depending on referral or internal sources to building a “Talent Brand” and focusing on the internet and social media for hiring potential candidates. For instance, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Glassdoor and Indeed amongst many provide a huge pool of competent candidates.

There has been a steady migration of top level employees of corporate sector joining social sector. When they move to social sector organisation, they bring in the experience of a corporate approach which is more result oriented and robust in their functioning.

There are a lot of universities conducting internship program with an NGO as part of their curriculum. This is a very positive approach where the young generation absorbs a new perspective and approach towards developmental causes as well as further their career in social sector. 

One concern which all the organisations face is attrition. A high level of attrition leads to increased expenditure on training and development, thereby affecting the overall organisational performance. To counter this, pre on-boarding processes have been introduced in organizations for new recruits. After recruitment, some organisations also implement a buddy mentorship programme which helps the new employees to probe about the organization, and its culture as this helps in building a long term association.    

In general, if an organization manages people well, employee attrition will come down. There should be an emphasize on managing the work environment in a friendly and cooperative mode, providing opportunities for growth, motivating, mentoring , listening to people, helping them improve work-life balance, and flexi hours.

Professionals from corporates will look forward to be recruited in social sector to fulfil the need to support a cause while elevating the society on the whole. This inclination will continue since social sector offers positive motivation, work-life balance and satisfaction of aiding nation building.

Source: People Matters

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