One look at the news and you’ll quickly see one of business’ biggest current challenges – hiring. So today we want to share three ways businesses can use social good to close the hiring gap.  Just before the start of the pandemic, unfilled jobs in the United States outnumbered the unemployed by 1.4 million openings – the widest gap ever. And while it’s true that there are also a lot of people seeking jobs, the challenge is a bit more complex.

In many industries, there is a gap of skilled workers, especially in accelerating fields such as construction, healthcare and technology. In a fast-growing economy like North Carolina’s, demand is outpacing the availability of program graduates. Add in pandemic challenges such as parents (especially women) leaving the workforce, disruption to family and school schedules and the changing of workplace culture and we have a recipe for major disruption – and major opportunity.

In our recently published Social Good Report 2021: Profit & Purpose, we explored some of the ways that businesses and nonprofits are building beautiful and creative workforce development partnerships.

I believe there is explosive, community-changing potential in many of these partnerships. There are few intersections that create as many wins for everyone involved – the business builds a successful hiring pipeline, the nonprofit gains hugely impactful resources for their clients. Collectively, we build a local economy that is giving people one of the things they need most – stable careers that pay a living wage.

Throughout our research, we found several tangible ways that local businesses are engaging with nonprofits to solve their own hiring gap:

  1. Internships – Nonprofits such as Year Up are partnering with organizations like Bank of America and AvidXchange to offer 6-month internships. Students gain valuable experience and corporate connections, while businesses are introduced to a diverse talent pool of students who are eager to learn and invest in their own professional development.
  2. Apprenticeships – Many fast-growing industries are turning to apprenticeships as a way to create a long-term, sustainable talent pipeline. Charlotte-based companies such as Steelfab and Torrent Consulting are finding traction and proving that this is a model that works in blue-collar and white-collar industries alike. It can take a little longer to get apprentices up and running, but both companies note that the long-term payoff is well worth it.
  3. Job Training – Almost every nonprofit will point to job training as an area of huge opportunity for their clients. Savvy businesses can work directly with nonprofits to ensure that the training is exactly what they need, then build a direct pipeline of talent in exactly the fields they need. Check out what Charlotte Area Fund is doing with their HVAC training program or how Goodwill of the Southern Piedmont is partnering with construction companies. City StartUp Labs recently began training teams of digital navigators for partnerships with county agencies.

Are you considering how your own business can leverage social good for your talent pipeline?
Next Stage knows you have questions and we’re here to help. Through our Social Impact for Business service line, we are working with companies to design compelling social good strategies that lead to impact in employee recruitment, retention and satisfaction. Got a specific challenge you’re wrestling with? Or a compelling workplace asset you want more people to know about? “Yes, we have a nonprofit for that.”

Reach out to us to learn more:

Written by Janet Ervin