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Benchmark Reports

Association Membership Manager: Position Benchmark Reports

Posted by Mitch Corlett on June 10, 2015

When faced with a stack of resumes, what's the best way to differentiate the top performers from their peers?

Based upon hundreds of interviews with hiring managers and candidates, this Position Benchmark Report will help you identify the factors that are most likely to drive performance in a role like this.

What do you need to know about the current market landscape for the association Membership function?

The membership function has experienced a significant shift in the past 5-7 years, evolving to be closely tied to the new critical revenue-driving activities of the association. As a result, you may encounter applicants whose job titles and resumes represent a merge of membership responsibilities with other functional areas like marketing, education, conferences and events, and publications. At smaller organizations, the candidate may not even be in the membership department, but rather in another functional area where they provide direct support to revenue-generating activities.


What does a typical association Membership Manager role look like in this market? What should you expect to see from a Top Performer?

Employers usually tell us they want to see some combination of the following from candidates (note that hiring requirements vary widely and are unique to each employer’s situation):

  1. Are they instrumental in growing and retaining your organization's membership? Have they developed and implemented specific initiatives to attract and recruit new members? To increase revenue through member programs or activities? To achieve renewals?
  2. Do they have significant experience with member-focused interactions? Do they provide daily assistance helping the existing membership base?
  3. Are they directly supporting the roll out of new member programs? Do they actively participate in organization initiatives to increase marketing or sales, increase presence, or offer education benefits?
  4. Are they doing the hands-on, everyday work while keeping the vision, bigger picture in mind? Are they managing member services programs and executing projects independently? Are they able to effectively prioritize work and resources?
  5. Can they talk about strategy and work with leadership? Do they engage with senior leadership to conduct outreach and member engagement?
  6. Are they collaborative? Do they work across their organization to achieve objectives? Do they use their membership background to improve the reach of revenue-driving programs and services?


What are they key factors that distinguish Top Performers from their peers?

  1. Engages in revenue-driving opportunities and, when able, drives them. Initiates programs, tools, or strategies to increase member levels and revenue. Creates and implements a targeted outreach strategy.
  2. Takes ownership. Solidly executes on deliverables and takes on projects to promote growth and opportunity for their organization.
  3. Leverages databases and looks at trends; translates the data into use for membership marketing and engagement, developments of new programs or benefits, and member retention.
  4. Networks with members. Finds out what services or benefits they're interested in, then proposes and develops ideas for fulfillment.
  5. Learns marketing techniques that support membership growth and retention.

So, as a hiring manager, what can you do to make hiring more personal?

How can you get the attention of top candidates? As the job market tightens and recruiting becomes more challenging, how can you update your hiring process so you are not trapped in the land before time? How can you organize your recruiting efforts to appeal to the most selective people?

Most job advertising budgets are wasted on ineffective ads that don't reach the right people. Effective job postings attract the right people for the right reasons, so you spend your time interviewing people who will fit into your culture and stay long enough to deliver results.

Download “6 Steps to Writing Job Descriptions that Attract Great Candidates to learn how to make your job postings twice as effective:

How to Write Job Descriptions to Attract Great Candidates

Topics: Position Benchmark Reports