The nonprofit sector has seen extensive turnover at all levels during the past year.

  • CEOs and CFOs retiring
  • Fundraisers realigning with mission and stepping up to more responsibility
  • COOs moving as organizations grow and need to build up their infrastructure
  • HR professionals joining more strategic roles to build culture and implement ways to retain staff

This is happening to many organizations. Recruiters are targeting your employees knowing that right now, people are moving locations, looking for a mission connection, wanting remote work, and seeking increased pay.

Diversity initiatives, the COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid work, talent shortages in senior-level roles as well as frontline jobs, culture and engagement, rewards and recognition, and more are dictating today’s market. 

Top Traits + Trends in Desirable Candidates
  • Executive leaders that bring demonstrated success in driving change through digital and data innovation are in higher demand.
  • Employers are placing a high value on an executive’s communication skills, as this is more critical than ever in motivating and retaining teams.
  • Resilience, empathy, and high emotional intelligence will be the cornerstones of an evolved workforce. This includes traits such as creativity, critical thinking, teaming, social intelligence, and adaptive thinking.
  • As the new constant is change, employees will have to be flexible and agile as they approach work.
  • Candidates continue to negotiate for remote work arrangements while clients are starting to push harder on expectations for in-office work. The battle continues!
  • Employers, as well as recruiters, will need to be agile, decisive, move quickly, and offer flexibility on relocation to attract the best talent.
  • Counteroffers and multiple competing offers are increasingly creating a challenging operating environment.
What You Can Do to Retain Your Top Employees OR What You Can Do to Attract Top Candidates
  • Employers are working to innovate in areas such as wellness, childcare, PTO, flexible working arrangements, and more as they think about staff retention.
  • Employers should allow executives to have room to try out-of-the-box ideas and develop new strategies. Give them room to grow and stretch.
  • Prioritize diversity and inclusion, as this will engage your team.
  • Be flexible! During the COVID-19 pandemic, people experienced working from home and some of the flexibility around that. Most employees don’t want to give it up!

Although we have seen extensive movement in the C-suite of the nonprofit sector, we also continue to see growth. The need for nonprofit services – whether it be mental health, medical research, homelessness, food insecurity, or conservation – has grown, which is leading to more hiring from a smaller talent pool. McDermott + Bull continues to prioritize recruiting talented leaders within the nonprofit sector and looks forward to partnering with you to further your mission and impact.

Sue Waterbury

Sue Waterbury serves as a Partner at McDermott + Bull in the New York office, where she leads East Coast business development, and executive search for the nonprofit sector nationally. Committed to value, transparency, and diversity, her collaborative approach ensures a thorough and successful search process. 

Sue has an impressive record of success in executive search, working with organizations to recruit leaders to bring about change, growth, and impact. She is a true partner to her clients developing intricate strategies around organizational design, recruitment, and onboarding. From large complex national and global organizations to small privately funded foundations and start-up nonprofits, she has partnered with human services, medical research + advocacy, environmental, education, and primary healthcare organizations and foundations.