Boomer retirement will bring new challenges to nonprofit organizations

December 30, 2013

Boomer retirement will bring new challenges to nonprofit organizations

Staffing fears facing the private sector are also cause for concern among nonprofits. As the economy improves, more boomers are feeling comfortable about retiring. For some organizations, this could create a five-year "brain drain" that is just beginning, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A survey by Plan Sponsor Council of America found 38 percent of nonprofit leaders expect recruiting challenges. In addition, the sharp decline in seasoned talent will create other concerns. Of the survey respondents, 42.7 percent see an increased need for training and nearly 40 percent anticipate challenges related to a skills gap. There is also fear that the sudden reallocation of responsibilities following retirement  could place a burden on remaining employees.

Recruiting new top talent comes with challenges
Retirement is only part of the problem, securing replacements that can keep organizations strong is another problem altogether. According to a study by talent management provider SilkRoad, HR professionals across the for-profit sector are concerned about attracting top millennial talent. The nature of nonprofit businesses often make attracting and retaining top talent a challenge.

It's nothing new to hear that nonprofits struggle at finding and keeping the best of the best. Pay is often uncompetitive with for-profit counterparts and the work is more demanding. Nonprofits will have to find other ways to sell their companies to potential employees if they want to stay competitive. Older employees often joined the nonprofit sector after a successful career elsewhere, which allowed them the financial freedom to make career changes later in life.

Like many other business challenges, the obstacles are magnified for organizations in the nonprofit sector. Meeting the demands of large and fast changes to staffing and talent will require planning. While it will be difficult to lose experienced employees, younger hires can bring fresh ideas to a nonprofit organization.

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