This morning, your director of development notified you that she has accepted a job elsewhere, effective two weeks from now. After absorbing the news, what will you do next? What factors will affect your course of action? What options do you see? What steps will you take?
To start, ask what your organization should be doing more of to keep valued development professionals, advised Tara George, CFRE, senior vice president, and Sylvia Kadlick, CFRE, senior consultant, at KCI in Toronto, in their session “Hiring and Retaining Great Fundraisers” at an AFP Toronto Congress.
Do you offer career growth, learning and development, as well as exciting, challenging and meaningful work? Have you assembled great people who enjoy being part of a team? Are you a good boss who does not hesitate to recognize work well done? Do people on the team enjoy autonomy, with a sense of control over their work? Have you established realistic fundraising goals, and is there a culture of philanthropy throughout the organization? Do others perceive your organization as a good place to have a fundraising career? Good pay and benefits don’t hurt, either.
George and Kadlick also pointed out several hiring best practices to avoid “new hire remorse” and extend retention. Be clear on what exactly you need and treat candidates the way you treat donors. Be able to demonstrate the “why people stay” factors during your hiring process.
- When executing your retention plan, start with on-boarding, they explained:
- Management of your human assets should never be an afterthought.
- Help new hires feel welcomed, valued and prepared.
- Build their understanding of your organizational norms, expectations and culture.
- Quickly build strong inter-organizational connections and foster employee engagement.
- Help them to map out a plan for the first six months (or beyond).