The not-for-profit sector is undergoing massive change.
This presents tremendous opportunities for those organisations, as well as for other businesses who can supply this growth sector with products and skills to help it evolve effectively.
Take the disability services sector for example. With the Hunter being one of the first regions to witness the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) we’re already seeing this sector turned on its head.
Where once block-funded organisations had a pretty good idea of how much money they had to spend on delivering a high quality service to their clientele, the onus is now on the organisation to convince those with a disability (or their carers) that they should spend their support funding with them instead of another provider.
The impact of this radical commercialisation of the sector is huge. Unfortunately some people and organisations will fall by the wayside as they struggle to make the adjustment. Smart not-for-profit organisations in this, and other sectors, are already embracing new ways of working and looking to other businesses for support with the transition.
Take the human resources area as one further example. Our business is already working with many not-for-profits who have foreseen a need to address the impact of change on existing culture, organisational strategy, leadership and recruitment.
The not-for-profit sector has always had a bit of an image problem. Somewhat unfairly, it has never been perceived as a particularly sexy space to develop a career, and in a lot of cases it has been seen as a stepping-stone for good people while they study or are between ‘real’ jobs. There aren’t always the right skills sets within some not-for-profits or their boards.
Aside from the traditional challenges of attraction and retention due to lower salaries in the sector, we have been working with them to realign their culture, bring their employee relations practices up to scratch, and develop their leaders.
While I predict that we’ll see more not-for-profits seeking high performing corporate HR and organisational development talent who relish the dynamic and exciting job opportunities that come with a business in the midst of transformation, there will also be many not for profits seeking helping from businesses like ours to up skill existing staff and the capability of the organisation.
With a stronger focus on overall commercial performance and the need to maximise resources during a time of uncertainty, there will be a demand for support from external businesses. Not-for-profits will be looking for help not just in HR, but in lots of complementary areas including business development, marketing, social learning, professional services and technological capability. Many of these organisations will also provide business opportunities in areas outside the Hunter region too.
Has your business thought about a strategy for working with this increasingly important sector in our regional economy?
Paul Sneddon is a hands on Director of Hunter-based and locally owned Forsythes HR and Forsythes Recruitment. Paul has more than 15 years experience in recruitment and human resource management.
Forsythes HR's team of specialist consultants are experts in specific areas of human resource management including leadership and culture; remuneration and benefits; HR policies programs and compliance; outplacement and carer support; psychometric background and skills assessment; as well as employee relations and mediation. The teams helps businesses, small and large, recognise the influence HR can have on productivity to make them stronger and better performing. They help build a culture of success. The firm has offices in Newcastle, the Hunter Valley, Central Coast and in Sydney.