Are NGOs Hiring the Wrong People?

A couple of days back I was contacted by a headhunter looking to fill a position for one of the world’s large international NGOs. A senior role, she contacted me because she thought I would know the right person, and she had it clear it wasn’t me. IT wasn’t until I read the JD that I understood why:

Ten+ plus experience in the development of marketing and strategic communications plans, implementation of marketing programs and measurement of results in markets in Asia-Pacific. Corporate, Journalism, Public Relations or Advertising Agency experience preferred.Knowledge of non-profit sector and/or public policy issues helpful.

Which led me to wonder whether or not NGOs were setting themselves up for failure by hiring people with “Knowledge of non-profit sector and/or public policy issues helpful”.

Call me old fashioned, but I have always found the best sales people to be those who knew the issues, had passion for the issues, and knew how to position the issue.  These are the people that can be trusted to stay for more than 18 months, while others feel they have done “their part” for the world, and are (in my eyes) the people who deserve to receive access to the limited training and development opportunities that exist in this field

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