Charity sector can benefit from new world of work

10 June 2022

The charity sector is recovering from the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, as it welcomes an increase in revenues and employee numbers. How can the sector capitalise on the new world of work?

The UK economy is trying its hardest to recover from the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, as is the charity sector. It employs over 889,000 people, with a market size of £49bn. In tandem with the return in revenues, the sector has begun to employ more people – it urgently requires talent to meet its current and future needs. But so does every other sector, leading to a job market that is extremely tight. It’s an employee’s market, so not only do candidates have more choice as to where and how they work, but many are seeking employment with purpose and flexibility.

This serves the charity sector very well as, previously, these requirements were not seen as much a priority by job seekers when considering roles. The sector therefore now has a fantastic opportunity to attract and retain top talent from a refreshed market. However, if the same approach to recruitment and retention is taken then organisations run the real risk of losing this opportunity. Charities could explore some key questions to move this agenda forward:

  • What’s our three-to-five year plan, and has our model changed?
  • What’s our resulting workforce makeup?
  • Why would people want to join us?

Take the time to reflect on the employee proposition and how it is linked to the organisation’s purpose. Candidates are attracted to organisations that align their goals with the ambitions of their people. You may need to do some realignment to harmonise the two. Once this is achieved, there are three key areas for charities to explore to ensure that they maximise the opportunity presented by a great employee proposition:

  1. People strategy The new world of work has led to many organisations changing their resourcing models over the last two years. The people strategy needs to reflect changes in strategy or objectives. The talent and experience of an organisation’s people should be relevant to its future goals.
  2. Recruitment The pace of talent ‘search and selection’ campaigns has never been more important. From shortlisting to interview, and from offer to start date, an efficient process not only engages candidates but reduces the increased risk of losing them in a buoyant jobs market. Charities should review their recruitment and selection procedures to assess their validity in the current market, and revise them where needed to maximise their effectiveness.
  3. Remuneration Total reward packages are being reviewed more than ever before. They should reflect what organisations want from their people and how they motive them to achieve it. The benchmarking of salaries, benefits and incentives should follow feedback from staff on what they value. Recently, RSM has been supporting clients on moving away from relying on salaries to recruit and retain talent.

For more information, please contact Deborah Payne.