Many Americans remain unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic — at least 9.8 million at the end of April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, that is expected to change quickly as employers ramp up hiring activities. If your non-profit will soon need new staffers, you might want to start putting out feelers now.
Obviously, the decision to hire is a difficult one considering the remaining economic uncertainty. But you also do not want to miss out on the best talent. Here are some issues to consider.
First off, do you need new employees? Even if you plan to expand services and introduce new programs, volunteers may be capable of picking up the slack. Or current staffers may be underused on projects that are stagnating or winding down. Carefully examine your non-profit’s priorities and consider eliminating programs that are not meeting expectations so you can redeploy human resources where you need them most.
If staffers have been working from home, you may want to call them back to the office (with any necessary safety protocols) before making the decision to hire. It is possible some will not want to return to in-person work. On the other hand, you may find you have adequate staffing once everyone’s back on site.
The pandemic took a financial toll on most non-profits. Others, however, have actually experienced outpourings of support. Whatever your situation, confirm you can fit any new staffers into your budget.
Even if you can, the fact remains that non-profits are obligated to be careful financial stewards. Donors, watchdog groups, and the media demand it. So, consider how you will make the most of any new staffing budget before you spend it.
Remember that when you hire full-time employees, the expense is not limited to salaries or hourly wages — you also will be paying for benefits. In many cases, it is cheaper to outsource functions, particularly accounting, information technology, and human resources work.
Outsourcing offers the additional benefit of being temporary if you are not happy with the service. Underperforming employees are much harder to let go.
Making the Decision
The decision to hire is likely to be one of your organization’s toughest calls this year. Employees are expensive, and probably the last thing you want to do anytime soon is lay off people due to a social or economic crisis. Contact us to review your financials and help you decide how to proceed.