ANECDOTAL evidence suggests that after spending years in the corporate world, several professionals are moving to the social sector intending to be part of the change they would like to see around them. And when experienced professionals with a zeal to make a difference leave their corporate careers, the social sector hiring managers couldn’t be happier as they are getting the best talent with an intense desire to contribute to social development.

This phenomenon has increased after the Covid pandemic. We at GiveIndia have noticed that more and more professionals are reaching out to us as with a rise in the number of applicants for all our job postings. That is a very exciting feeling. However, the questions like how ready they are to move to this sector where they have to compromise on compensation and are they motivated enough to last the distance loom large.

​​Growth of the social sector

The social sector in India has grown in recent years thanks to more and more corporate houses involving themselves in CSR activities after amendments to The Companies Act in 2013 made corporate social responsibility mandatory. According to the India Philanthropy Report 2020 by Dasra and Bain & Company, philanthropic funding in India grew from ₹12,500 crore in 2010 to ₹55,000 crore in 2018. It has increased even further after the pandemic.

Although professionals from the corporate background bring several transferable skills to the social sector, they may still need a few traits to fully understand the sector’s nuances to make the whole transition seamless.

The most important question

When evaluating a career shift in the impact space, social sector hiring professionals always like to ask potential candidates one question very clearly: Why are they leaving a high-paying job to work in a sector like ours which does not offer money at the same level? Definitely, not more!

With the guiding principle of alleviating poverty in India, GiveIndia believes that motivation should be the prime reason for any professional to join the social sector.

We would love to hire those who are genuinely driven to do something that can impact millions of lives. More often than not, it is indirect as what we do as an organization is to provide funds to our NGO partners who do the hard work of direct impact on the ground.

How we evaluate

One of our clear filtering processes is our simple ‘GiveIndia Interest Questionnaire’, which we request all applicants to respond to. It helps them to know our reality of not being able to pay as would many established large corporates would. It also helps us to decipher if the candidates have actually thought through their decision to move and are ready to adjust economically.

We don’t have an easy process in hiring, despite having a relatively small talent pool (of the ones ready to work for the social sector). We follow a concept devised four years ago called ‘KICKASSS’ (attitude, smarts, social intent, skills, and in that order).

The traits that matter

Attitude: We assess potential employees primarily through the lens of their alignment with our purpose: “to alleviate poverty by enabling the world to give”. Other qualities include the eagerness to be in our environment and a positive outlook on life. In other words, They should have a positive streak, with a zeal to make an impact with their skill.

Social Intent: It is important that the inclination to be in the social sector is in-built. We always look for that level of interest for “keenness” and readiness to make a switch in the social sector as it involves letting go of their lucrative jobs or job opportunities in a for-profit organization.

Smarts: The candidate should exhibit the capability to handle complexity of the work for which they are being hired. They should be solution-oriented and self-driven to make things happen. As part of our hiring process, candidates are given an assignment, as it helps them do the research, and understand the problem we put in front of them. This helps us to ascertain the depth, breadth and seriousness of interest.

Skills: The candidate should be skilled upto the level we would want our employees to have for a particular role. We believe that with the right attitude and great smarts, a candidate can pick up skills very quickly even if their current levels are not upto the mark.

Our hiring process enables us to determine whether the candidate has the hunger and the ability to work in a high-stretch environment.

We like to take risks, and as long as candidates have the learning and unlearning orientation, skills (even if there is a gap) can be picked up, and emerge well in their journey with GiveIndia.

Anyone keen to talk to us, please log in to: GiveIndia.org/careers

1 COMMENT

  1. For all the despair, hardships and uncertainties COVID has left us with, the Pandemic has been a blessing in disguise. It is a mirror highlighting the many disparities that exist in society. What I have realised is that often money isn’t the thing people have on their minds when they are looking to transition to a Non profit/ developmental sector. Most of them don’t feel engaged, making any meaningful difference and are too often tired serving the privileged section. In a corporate world we tend to work in silos and are often displaced from the realities at ground level. When I hear of new and disruptive technologies and read stories of children not having access at home, or education not being priority due to financial constraints, I think of the paradox we live with and wonder whether unknowingly we are widening the gap.

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