Senior Recruitment in the Not-for-Profit Sector Continues to Rise

Recruitment in the not-for-profit sector is much more active according to the latest edition of the 2into3 Quarterly Recruitment Monitor. There were 55% more management-level roles opportunities in Q2 2019 (173) than there were in Q2 2018 (112).

To complement the Quarterly Recruitment Monitor, 2into3 also released a snapshot survey to learn more about the experiences of hiring managers in the current market. Results showed that not-for-profit organisations are finding it challenging to recruit management-level talent with one respondent stating that their organisation ‘could not compete in terms of renumeration’.

Results from the survey also showed that the main purpose for not-for-profit recruitment so far in 2019 has been to replace staff members that have left. This was particularly pertinent finding given that 5% of the roles advertised so far in 2019 were also advertised in 2018.

Reflecting on the findings from the latest edition of the Quarterly Recruitment Monitor and the recruitment survey 2into3’s Head of Recruitment, Fergal O’Sullivan, notes: “In a market where candidates find it easier to shop around there is a question to be asked about what action organisations can take to ensure that they remain an employer of choice to not only attract, but to also retain talent?”

The Quarterly Recruitment Monitor is a free-to access publication that serves as a benchmarking resource that provides CEOs, hiring managers and board members in the not-for-profit sector with detailed insights on key trends within the current recruitment market. You can download a full version of the report here.

Recruiting in full employment – How does the not-for-profit sector keep up?

In May 2019, the Central Statistics Office reported that the level of unemployment in Ireland had fallen to just 4.4%, quite a contrast from the 12.1% reported in May 2009.

The recent economic recovery has seen phenomenal growth in the number of job opportunities available, with the term “full employment” appearing more and more in news headlines.

Indeed, there are positive effects of full employment, such as improved income levels and GDP, reduced social protection payments and increased tax revenues that can be used either to reduce taxes or increase spending.

From an employer’s perspective, the current economic state can bring several challenges when seeking to both attract and retain the best people and the not-for-profit sector is certainly no exception. In fact, it may be feeling the impact even more than the commercial area.

Data on not-for-profit recruitment activity is somewhat thin on the ground, but the 2into3 Quarterly Recruitment Monitor can give us something of an insight into the last three years at least. During that time, the number of management roles advertised within the sector during the first half of the year has risen from 107 in 2017, to 201 in 2018 and a substantial 281 so far in 2019.

The cause of this trend is rooted in more than one area, with some possibly contradictory and maybe not mutually exclusive. Are there more organisations seeking to expand their activity and need to hire for new positions, or are senior managers moving to new roles with other organisations and need to be replaced? Are organisations who previously had no requirement to publicly advertise, or use the services of external recruiters now, having to make that shift in approach?

Whatever the root cause, the figures and the feedback we receive clearly points to a challenge for the sector. With a “sellers’ market” very much in operation at the moment, not-for-profit hiring managers need to know how to compete and to know who the competition is.

Commercial companies are often able to offer far more attractive overall packages to prospective employees, with higher salaries, greater opportunities for advancement and in many cases a range of other benefits.

The risk for not-for-profits is to try to compete head-on with such an offering. More often than not, this will be a losing approach, given the comparative resources available. Instead, organisations need to think outside this narrow framework.

Sure, there is a need to offer the most competitive salary and benefits package that the organisation can afford; after all, if you want to attract the best, you need to offer the best you can. But if this runs the risk of starting an “arms race” of competing salaries against companies who have deeper pockets than yours, other approaches are needed as well.

It is our experience that a large number of people working in the not-for-profit sector do so for reasons other than the salary they earn. They know the work, while often stressful and time-consuming, offers a purposeful career. They are often working within a culture that recognises and rewards their hard work and commitment, while offering a realistic work-life balance.

As long as this employment market exists, the challenge can also be viewed as an opportunity for the not-for-profit sector to promote its “employer brand” as something more than the basic elements of a job and salary.

2into3 Recruitment Monitor Q1 2019

Senior Recruitment in the Irish Not-For-Profit Sector on the Rise

Recruitment for senior roles in the Irish not-for-profit sector has seen a significant rise over the last year.

In our Quarterly Recruitment Monitor for Q1 2019, 2into3’s Recruitment Team identified 108 senior or management roles advertised in the first three months of the year, a 30% increase on the same period in 2018.

Other significant developments identified by the analysis include a significant increase in Service Delivery & Operational roles, up from 19 in Q1 2018 to 43 in Q1 2019.

Commenting on the results of the analysis, Fergal O’Sullivan, Head of Recruitment with 2into3 said: “The continued increase in the number of management roles being advertised, especially the year-on-year increase in Q1, is evidence of a sector that is not only recovering strongly, but is becoming more professional with each passing quarter. The public demand for well-managed charities with a professional approach to good governance is being addressed by this search for strong leadership.”

The Quarterly Recruitment Monitor is now entering its third year and it has found that for eight consecutive quarters, social services organisations are the most active recruiters in the sector. The Monitor is a free-to access publication and you can download a full version of the report here.

2into3 works with Sensational Kids

In late 2018, 2into3 began working closely with Sensational Kids, a not-for-profit that provides much-needed services for children with additional needs. The organisation was founded by Karen Leigh, headquartered in Kildare but impacting positively on the lives of thousands of children across Ireland.

In November 2018, 2into3 delivered a Masterclass to the Social Innovation Fund Accelerator Programme, of which Karen was a Member. She told us afterwards that Sensational Kids had in the past found fundraising to be challenge, which meant they were struggling to fulfil the needs of the service users.

We initially engaged with Sensational Kids through three Workshops to establish a sustainable fundraising strategy and stemming from this, we helped to identify a need to establish a national fundraising strategy with local remit whilst providing some contract consultancy and project fundraising support.

2into3 Director and Head of Consulting and Research, Dennis O’Connor. Will also be providing mentoring support to the Regional Business Manager in their Clonaklilty office. Dennis, originally from the Mardyke in Cork, has a vast knowledge of the fundraising landscape in Ireland, earned from his experience working in the sector for the past 13 years. We have also placed a Graduate Development Assistant for their centre in Claremorris, Co Mayo through our graduate programme, For Purpose.

Our work with Sensational Kids does not stop there; as our new Head of Recruitment Fergal O’Sullivan, is currently recruiting both a Capital campaign Manager and a National Fundraising and Communications Manager.

Karen Leigh explained that: “Sensational Kids are delighted to have benefitted from the specialist consultancy from 2into3 to develop our fundraising strategy which has helped us to identify the specific fundraising needs of our organisation and provide us with the supports required to deliver this strategy over the coming years.”

2into3 have had a wonderful experience working with Sensational Kids and are delighted to give our support to an organisation that makes such an incredible difference to the lives of its service users.

Fergal O’Sullivan joins 2into3 as they bid farewell to Amy Power

Last week, following a very successful 5 years, 2into3 bid farewell to their Head of Consulting and Research, Amy Power, who will join the Social Innovation Fund as a Fund Manager. Amy leaves behind her a great legacy in 2into3, having established the annual Fundraising Performance Report as the sector landmark which it has become, as well as developing 2into3’s Quarterly Fundraising Monitor benchmarking service. Amy also advised a range of clients in developing their fundraising strategies. Over the last number of years, Amy has provided mentoring support for a range of graduate trainees on the For Purpose Graduate programme. Amy will continue to provide technical guidance on the 9th Fundraising Report and will join the For Purpose Advisory Panel in a personal capacity.

With Amy’s departure, 2into3 say hello to Fergal O’Sullivan, who will now head up 2into3’s Recruitment business. Fergal has spent the last seven years working in the not-for-profit sector, having previously served as CEO of the Coeliac Society of Ireland. He has held a range of management positions, including fundraising and strategic development roles with Make-A-Wish and NCBI, as well as in a pro-bono capacity with Chernobyl Children International. Fergal is currently on the board of HIV Ireland. Fergal is a past board member of Make-A-Wish Ireland and My Legacy, acting as Chairman of the latter from 2016 to 2019.

With Fergal heading up recruitment, 2into3 Director, Dennis O’Connor will revert back to his former role as Head of Consulting and Research, where he will be able to work closely with clients on fundraising and organisational strategies.

Speaking about the changes in 2into3, Dennis O’Connor said:

“It has been a pleasure to work with Amy over the last five years and I have no doubt she will go on to have a very successful career in the not-for-profit sector. On the other hand, Fergal will be a very strong addition to our team. His experience in the charity sector will prove to be a very valuable asset to 2into3’s recruitment team.”

This week, 2into3 also launched their new website which you can check out here.

Management Recruitment in the Not-for-Profit Sector rises 7% in 2018

Management Recruitment in the Not-for-Profit Sector rises 7% in 2018

  • 398 management level roles were advertised throughout 2018, 7% higher than the 373 roles in 2017
  • In both 2017 and 2018, Social Services, Health and International Development organisations were most active in recruitment. Religious organisations were the least.
  • Service Delivery & Operational Management roles were the most commonly advertised.
  • HR roles were the least advertised positions.

‘The Not-For-Profit Quarterly Recruitment Monitor’, published today by 2into3, has revealed that management recruitment in the not-for-profit sector is up from 2017. In 2018, there were 398 management roles advertised, compared 372 roles advertised in 2017.

The report also found that social services organisations were the most active recruiters in both 2017 and 2018, with organisations in this subsector recruiting 35% and 39% of management roles, respectively. Meanwhile, religious organisations were the least active, accounting for just 1% of the total roles recruited in 2018.

Human Recourse roles were the least advertised function in the not-for-profit sector in 2018. However, the number of advertisements did rise from 12 in 2017 to 17 in 2018. Conversely Service Delivery and Operational Management roles were the most advertised in 2018 accounting for 134 of the 398 roles.

Dennis O’Connor, Director of 2into3 commented:

“Talent acquisition is becoming increasingly challenging for the Not-for-Profit Sector. 2into3’s Quarterly Recruitment Monitor shows where demand is greatest.”

You can view the full copy of the report here.

19% Increase in Management Roles in Q2 2018 Compared to Q2 2017

2into3’s Quarterly Recruitment Monitor has shown that there has been a 19% increase in management roles advertised in the not-for-profit sector in Q2 2018 compared to Q2 2017. Operations and Service roles were the most popular in Q2, while the number of CEO positions and Fundraising roles decreased from Q1 2018. The full report can be found here.

The 2into3 Quarterly Recruitment Monitor tracks trends and provides insight on management level recruitment in the not-for-profit sector on a quarterly basis.

Recent recruitment assignments completed by 2into3 include:

The Care Trust – Director of Lottery Operations & Marketing

  • Merchants Quay Ireland – Senior Management Accountant (Maternity Cover)
  • Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association – CEO
  • Co-operative Housing Ireland – Head of Development
  • ChildFund Ireland – CEO
  • St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth – Director of Fundraising & Alumni Relations

Current recruitment assignments include:

  • Merchants Quay Ireland – Head of Drugs, Homeless & Health Services
  • Drinkaware – CEO
  • CUH Charity – CEO
  • GOAL – Director of People & Organisational Development

2into3 can support not-for-profit organisations talent acquisition and retention in a range of ways, including:

  • Recruitment Services
  • Talent Management
  • The 2into3 Not-for-Profit Graduate Programme

For further information on 2into3’s recruitment services and talent strategy development process please feel free to contact 2into3 Director Dennis O’Connor at 01 2343184 or Michael Walsh at 01 2343131.

Ireland’s Not-For-Profit Graduate Programme Launched

Tomorrw marks the launch of the For Purpose – Ireland’s not-for-profit graduate programme. The For Purpose programme has been designed to identify, mentor and develop the future leaders of the sector. The 12-month programme will connect participating not-for-profit organisations with graduates who want to make a positive impact on society.

For Purpose will offer graduate traineeships across a diverse range of career paths, including fundraising, communications, social care and roles in housing and international development.

Based around the ultimate aim of building a consistent pipeline of talent for the not-for-profit sector, the For Purpose graduate programme will provide participants with an immersive training experience along with one-on-one mentoring, ensuring a grounding in the key skills required to work in the sector.

In 2019, the For Purpose programme will take on its first graduate intake. Following a competitive interview process, successful candidates will be matched with participating organisations to undertake their traineeships on the programme. Throughout the graduate course, trainees can avail of regular mentorship meetings to ensure they are getting the best experience possible out of the programme.

For Purpose is the evolution and enhancement of an existing graduate programme offered by not-for-profit consultancy 2into3. Since 2012, 2into3 has placed 42 graduates into roles with not-for-profit organisations, including Age Action, Focus Ireland, Educate Together and Diabetes Ireland.

Today, over 60% of those graduates are still working within the sector and have risen to management and leadership roles in their respective organisations.

Dennis O’Connor, Founder of the For Purpose Programme said, “Our ambition was to create a cohesive and unified graduate programme that will greatly benefit entry-level trainees with the best career springboard possible. The not-for-profit sector is full of opportunities for graduates who are seeking an impactful career with purpose.”

Adrian McCarthy, Project Manager of the For Purpose Programme said, “We are extremely excited to launch the For Purpose Graduate Programme. It has been designed to provide graduates with the best training experience possible. The long-term sustainability of the not-for-profit sector relies on outstanding graduates and we believe that the For Purpose Graduate Programme will contribute to the development of the sector.”


For further information on the For Purpose Graduate Programme please see:

13% rise in senior-management not-for profit opportunities in Q3 2018

Over the past year, the Irish not-for-profit sector has expanded greatly. As the sector has grown, the need for leadership too has grown. 2into3’s Recruitment Monitor for Q3-2018 showed a 13% increase in the number of management roles advertised for the sector compared to Q3-2017. The full report can be found here.

Of note, there has also been a rise in the total number of positions advertised from Q1-Q3, 2018 (300 roles) in comparison to the number of advertised roles from Q1-Q3, 2017 (269). This represents an increase of 12%.

Recent recruitment assignments completed by 2into3 include:

  • Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, CEO
  • The Care Trust, Director of Lottery Operations and Marketing
  • St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth – Director of Fundraising and Alumni Relations
  • GOAL – Director of People & Organisation Development
  • Merchants Quay Ireland – Day Services’ Manager
  • Drinkaware – CEO
  • CUH Charity – CEO


Current recruitment assignments include:

  • Clanmil Ireland – Finance & Administration Manager
  • Co-operative Housing Ireland – Head of Finance
  • Temple Street Foundation – Director of Fundraising & Communications
  • GOAL – Director of International Programmes
  • Merchants Quay Ireland – Head of Drugs, Homelessness & Health


2into3 supports not-for-profit organisations’ talent acquisition and retention in a range of ways:

For further information on 2into3’s recruitment services, please contact 2into3’s Director, Dennis O’Connor at 01-234-3184 or Michael Walshat 01-234-3131.