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Benchmark Reports

Nonprofit HR Director: 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 does a typical nonprofit Director of HR 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. Does the candidate proactively provide advice and counsel to their organization's leadership team? Do they recommend personnel policies and procedures to establish a healthy, functioning employee base?
  2. Have they participated in the strategic planning process, developing and implementing HR strategies and solutions that support short- and long-term business objectives?
  3. Do they present assessments and data to decision-makers on the impact of HR policies and procedures on organizational performance -- staffing, benefits, training programs, professional development?
  4. Do they support department managers with coaching and guidance? Do they partner with managers to implement workforce planning strategies? To develop performance objectives? To navigate disciplinary processes?
  5. Have they created strategies around a wide range of HR functions: workforce planning, performance management, employee development, retention, staff training, teambuilding, compensation and benefits?
  6. Have they designed and conducted training to promote professional growth of staff?
  7. Do they provide counsel and guidance on employee relations? Have they provided coaching for conflict resolution processes? Do they have experience using ADR?
  8. Have they built, established, or fixed an HR function? Do they have experience managing organizational change, ambiguity, or adversity -- setting up a department, dealing with challenging management issues, restructuring dysfunctional HR processes?
  9. Have they developed key performance metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of their HR programs? Do they track and analyze trends?
  10. Are they responsible for managing a budget? Do they conduct cost analysis? Ensure budget allocations are aligned with internal mandates and priorities?
  11. Do they have experience managing an HR team? Overseeing vendors or consultants?
  12. Do they proactively advise the executive team of anything that puts the organization at risk legally? Are they responsible for ensuring compliance?


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

The most common reason candidates do not move forward in this kind of role is because they are perceived as being too focused on compliance or reporting.

Hiring managers are interested in candidates who are oriented toward the organization and its employees, creating a solid HR foundation which is the lifeblood of the organization from the staff perspective. A strong candidate will have extensive experience partnering with leadership at a strategic level and serving as a trusted resource for managers.

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, Human Resources