Agenda Consulting, an HR Management Consultancy, runs an annual human resource benchmarking study across the Third Sector. The following summary is
taken from their People Count Third Sector 2010 report, which involved benchmarking the human resources functions of 90 medium and large third
The recent spending cuts announced by the government will undoubtedly have a dramatic effect on organisations operating across the third sector. There
is strong evidence to suggest the sector will have to operate with a reduced workforce, with many charities already in the process of implementing
significant cost savings in the form of staff redundancies. Therefore ‘a more for less’ strategic approach will be needed, with job roles merging, an
increase in the engagement of volunteers to provide a wider range of services, and a rise in short-term and part time employment contracts.
· The recent announcements of the October Spending Review outlined extensive cuts across the public sector budget. This reduction in spending
will inevitably affect the resources available to organisations in the third sector.
· Only charities with strong control measures and flexible HR processes will be able to successfully meet these financial challenges.
· Strong competition exists within the third sector, with several established charities delivering ‘like for like’ services. There will be an
increased requirement for charities to demonstrate their “added value” to key stakeholders and society as a whole.
· It is vital that third sector organisations need to be effective in their approach to human resource management. They need to balance the
need to recruit and retain talented people, develop the skills and capabilities that their charities require, and build the processes and culture to
achieve a high-performing and motivated workforce with the reduced resources available to them.
· Agenda Consulting has proven experience in helping third sector organisations significantly improve their performance.
Charity Recruitment, Selection and Retention
· On average third sector recruitment is more efficient than the private sector. It only takes charities 35 working days to fill a vacancy - 10
days fewer than the UK workforce as a whole.
· The average expenditure on advertising for a charity vacancy is £1,077.
· The third sector is increasingly moving away from panel interviews towards a more competency based selection process.
· The third sector puts great emphasis on testing for specific skills, general ability tests and personality questionnaires.
· Average staff turnover is 20% per year, compared to 14% for management employees.
· The average length of service is 34 months.
Charity HR Function
· The median ratio of all employees to HR employees is 56, compared with the whole of the UK figure of 84.
· The median staffing cost of the HR function per employee is £566.
· The most time consuming elements of the HR function within third sector organisations are recruitment and selection, employee relations and
learning and development.
· Only 26% of respondents have carried out an equal pay audit in the past three years; however 62% intend to do so in the next three years.
· Trade unions play a role in salary negotiations in 31% of organisations surveyed.
· The main concerns for charity HR departments are currently redundancies and restructuring.
The above provides a basic snapshot of the extensive People Count Third Sector 2010 study conducted by Agenda Consulting. The study is arguably
the most detailed analysis of the third sector’s HR function available. The report provides further insights into employee diversity, HR processes,
employee relations, salary strategy and the HR function as a whole. For more information about accessing the report please contact Tracy Jarvis,
Marketing Manager, Agenda Consulting on 01865 263 720.