A lot of the news this week has been about current and looming worker shortages in industry after industry. I've seen articles stating that, for college grads, it's the best job market in 20 years. I've seen pieces about the shortage of nurses, aerospace engineers, teachers, hospitality managers, nuclear engineers, physical therapists, and on and on.
Of course, this means that we in the nonprofit sector are up against steep and deep pocketed competition for the best young people, because we have our worker shortage, too.
This was a headline that awaited me on Google News this morning(care of St. Louis Today):
"Want To Hire The Best and Brightest Members of GenY?" and it's all about making sure that for-profits emphasize their volunteer opportunities, their social good works, etc.
Hmmm. Seems to me that we can take this set of research findings, and run with them in the non-profit world as well, as we try to entice good people to make their career with us. We already have social value. We already are doing good works. But how many of our organizations encourage our employees to volunteer at OTHER nonprofits? If that's a big lure, we should look at it. Something to think about.
In other "news", I had a great week in Chicago and Fort Wayne speaking first on Wednesday at North Park University's Axelson Center for Nonprofits Annual Symposium, this year on Generation change . Thursday I was in Fort Wayne talking on Nonprofit Stewardship for the Nonprofit Resource Center. Finally, on Friday, I gave the annual Williams Lecture for the Foellinger Foundation on Generation Change. Very nice and responsive audiences in all three locations. Even got some press. Many thanks to everyone at all three organizations who did so much work to make my time in their cities so enjoyable.
And, speaking of employee recruitment needs, my wife Chris's retirement dinner was last night. 33 years in special ed in public schools draws to a close in three weeks.
First, a shout-out to her for a job very, very well done.
Second, some anecdotal data. Chris is part of over 31 teachers retiring this year from our small school district. That's an entire school's worth of experienced educators out the door.
And last year there was about the same number retiring here, and next year it's more...and this is happening in every school district (and every industry) all across the country.
All of which makes me feel we've got to get more kids volunteering and doing summer internships in our organizations in high school and college, to steer them our way early.