The Role of HR in Nonprofits

The Role of HR in Nonprofits

The role of HR managers is typically consistent across industries. Human resource professionals are responsible for hiring, compensation, policy, training and the development of staff amongst other things. What distinguishes HR departments within the non-profit sector can best be thought of as resource allocation. Any HR manager working within the non-profit sector will discover that being creative will allow them to have exciting impacts to their organization.

Many non-profits rely on external finances for operational support – grants, membership dues, and donations to name a few sources – which can create unpredictable hiring practices and affect staff retention. Human resources management is required to hit the mark when recruiting for qualified candidates to fill paid and unpaid roles, because mis-hires are especially costly. Expense considerations require that both paid employees and volunteers are well trained and kept on staff to sustain an organization’s mission and productivity. Innovation with benefit packages and employee development trainings is essential.

Because most non-profit’s work is focused on charity, community actions, and other social issues, organizational culture is a major component for human resource managers to maintain. The human resources department is essential in communicating to employees how their work is a direct contribution to achieving organizational goals.

Keeping employees happy and engaged is directly tied to the survival of a non-profit’s operations in a stronger sense than other industries, so that employees are willing to put in extra effort without the financial incentives. Putting together company outings and events to develop the sense of community and family within an organization is found within many non-profits.

Policy and procedure is a major component to human resource manager’s role. Identifying appropriate and lawful conduct for employees is a part of the human resource department’s duties, yet with the non-profit sector many will find that policies will change according to the position for which an employee is assigned. Being up-to-date about industry, legal, and cultural changes which effect a non-profit is required. Collaborating with compliance and legal teams is also essential for non-profit human resource managers to empower their work success.

The business of non-profits requires that the staff be well-informed and trained to do their jobs. Staff training is an additional expense which many non-profits have to be creative in addressing. Human resource departments are responsible for getting employees the information necessary for job effectiveness by identifying seminars, conferences, books, and relevant events to the organization for employees to attend.

There are other non-profit organizations dedicated to developing and training other’s within the non-profit sector. These associations are a great resource for human resources managers to use because they offer appropriate education at low-cost.

Often human resource departments are the go-to place for employees to voice their concerns and frustrations. Because of the hands-on and personal nature of non-profit work, it is important for human resource manager to remain impartial when addressing an employee matter. Because the human resource department is closely related to an organization’s mission and goals, managing employee issues requires neutrality and taking employee complaints as an indicator of their engagement and ownership of the organization, so that any feedback provided leaves all parties empowered and feeling fully addressed.

About the Author
Dee Fletcher is a freelancer and ghost writer, and also enjoys guest blogging. She writes mostly about current trends or events in various industries, but also writes advice and how to articles. She works from her home in Southern California and loves to visit the beach as often as she can.


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