Lara stands in her home office, in front of her desk.

Freelance – The Answer To Your HR Challenges?

If you spend any time on sport and recreation LinkedIn or Twitter, you’ll see a recurring theme of a human resource crisis within the sport industry. This month, I’m talking about why that is and how I could freelance for you to help solve your human resources challenges.

Why Is this Happening?

Why exactly is the sport and greater non-profit industry experiencing a human resources crisis? There’re a few contributing factors.

Decreased Revenues

The pandemic has had a lasting effect on non-profits’ revenues. An article published by Imagine Canada in May 2022 quotes the Canadian Survey of Business Conditions (CSBC), stating that more than half of nonprofits (53%) reported having lower revenues in 2021 than they had in 2019 and almost a quarter (23%) said their revenues were down by 25% or more. At the beginning of the pandemic, everything ground to a halt and many sport organizations had to lay off staff. While relief funding alleviated some pressure in the short term, the continued downturn of revenues has meant that many organizations have not been able to hire staff back.

The Great Resignation

We are now hearing that the Great Resignation has arrived in Canada. The Great Resignation began during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many employees leaving their jobs en masse, in hopes of finding roles that aligned more closely with their goals as well as myriad other reasons. In Canada, the Great Resignation began with a retirement wave, with nearly 30% higher retirements over the last 12 month period than was seen pre-pandemic.

Recruiting and Retaining Staff

Even before the pandemic, recruiting and retaining staff was challenging due to the nature of being a non-profit and generating sustainable revenues. As well, there are negative societal perceptions around non-profits paying staff competitive wages due to their organizations’ not-for-profit status. It’s challenging for non-profit organizations to offer wages and benefits that compete with for-profit businesses. And so, it’s no surprise that the latest CSBC found that 36% of non-profits expected recruiting skilled employees to be an obstacle over the next 3 months. As well, 32% expected retaining skilled employees to be an obstacle. This has left sport and recreation organizations short-staffed and under-skilled.

Where Does This Leave You?

If your organization is challenged with being short staffed but you’ve got important and time-sensitive things to get done, I can help. I have worked with some organizations on a short-term basis to provide freelance help, and I can do the same with you.

What Might This Look Like?

Here’s an example of freelance work that I’ve done. Saskatchewan Soccer has contracted me in the past to manage the paperwork for their major grant. I reviewed the application forms they received, inputted the information into their tracking documents, and flagged anything that needed follow up with their staff. Later, I reviewed the forms received in the follow-up process along with all of the receipts and documentation submitted. When I returned it back to the staff, they simply had to review, approve, and send the cheque requisitions to their accountant.

They also contracted me to review the applications they received for their Club Licensing Program. Applicants to this program submit application forms and supporting documentation. The process was similar to the grant. I reviewed the sections of the applications I was responsible for. I went through the supporting documentation. Notes were made where follow up by the staff was needed.

In total, I saved their organization approximately 40 hours by doing this work for them. Staff were able to spend those 40 hours on more strategic initiatives and making a larger impact with their membership instead of reviewing forms.

What Could I Do for You?

It’s up to your imagination. Review grant and other applications, certainly. Create PDFs for completion certificates for coaching and officials’ courses. Data entry. E-file paperwork. Proofread policy. Need extra hands at a competition or event, helping with set up and take down? An event gopher? Anything that an assistant could do, I can help with.

Consider me knowledgeable but uninformed. You can provide me some context and instructions, and me and my team will get to work. Intrigued but not sure where I could fit in? Contact me about how I could freelance for you and we can come up with a solution.

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