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2017 US Human Services Workforce Trends Study

The recruitment, retention, and development of top talent is a crucial priority in the human services sector. To further examine the most salient issues affecting HR stakeholders in our network, we surveyed over 200 nonprofit human services organizations about trends, opportunities, challenges, and lessons learned as they strive to strengthen and diversify their workforce. In this trend report, we summarize data collected in the survey in the following broad categories: recruitment, retention, turnover, and advancing equity. Research questions pursued include:

  • How many organizations have formal recruitment and/or retention plans? What's the budget for these?
  • How many organizations have recruitment or hiring protocols in place that promote diversity and inclusion?
  • From where are organizations recruiting?
  • How many organizations have experience hiring new Americans?
  • Are organizations changing (i.e., lowering) job qualifications and/or allotting more resources for new employee training?
  • What positions are most difficult to fill?
  • What turnover rates are we seeing in our sector? Why are these employees leaving?
  • How do organizations promote flexibility, wellness, and work-life balance?
  • How many organizations have a formal succession plan in place?
  • What demographic data is collected for staff? What about for board members?
  • Are organizations measuring the degree to which their workforce reflects the population served?
  • How are organizations working to advance equity?
  • This report also contains a 'participant profile', which provides data around the organizational characteristics of the organizations represented in the sample.

    We intend for this data to be useful to our strategic action network as a whole and to individual organizations by providing baseline data for benchmarking and goal-setting. Moreover, we hope that this resource will encourage conversations, generate ideas, help identify priorities, and inspire new questions to ask.

    Please see the 2017 US Human Services Workforce Trends and Compensation Study, if you are interested in purchasing the full version of this report, which contains this workforce trends report as well as a compensation study for professional, direct services, and support staff.

    Publisher: Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

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