It is fair to say that there is a universally accepted perception that CEOs working for non-profits are generally paid less than those working in for-profits. And to dispel any illusions that some of you may have… we hear it is just as tough or even more so to run a non-profit than it is to run a for-profit organisation!

So, if the facts are correct as recently reported by Strategic Pay chief executive John McGill, and CEOs in non-profits are working for up to 30% less than those in the for-profit sector, how can associations and charities attract good talent for top management positions?

As developed by our own team and reported in a Harvard Business Review blog here are some actions a charity or association can take to leverage the acquisition of talent:

Focus on talent development – make retention a focus of how your organisation can develop those within your non-profit, this a much more cost effective strategy that looking at continuously recruiting.
Leverage your organisation’s mission to be more attractive to those you want to attract. Be very clear about where you are different in your approach so that your prospective CEO can have a clear connection with your brand and culture.
Look at innovative ways to make the position more attractive to those looking to manage potential lifestyle changes. For example have some ‘paybacks’, like ability to work from home, working reduced hours or flexible hours.
Look at diversity as an opportunity and perhaps have a more relaxed stance about recruiting from another culture or age bracket that you may not have considered previously.
Engage and interest a potential CEO with the opportunity for them to provide a fresh perspective to your organisation and in turn being open to working in new ways.
Use social media networks to investigate candidates – as Management Magazine (August/September) recently stated, LinkedIn remains that ‘one social media platform that is actually more popular with CEOs than the general public’.
Keep a record, or dossier of people that you come across who may be good future candidates.