New Survey Proves That Association Management Businesses Need to Rethink Their Hiring Strategies

Last modified on December 18th, 2023

Hiring and retaining talent has become a major challenge for association management businesses across the United States. In fact, according to a report by the Foundation for Community Association Research, 97% of association management executives and hiring associates believe there is a shortage of community managers. Recently, the market has dramatically shifted, and industry-wide disruptions have led to a massive change in employee mindset, leading more to reconsider their priorities and, in some cases, even switch industries. 

To find out what drives job satisfaction for community association management teams and what employers can do to attract and retain top-tier talent, we surveyed over 400 community association management employees in frontline roles. Below, we detail some of the key takeaways from the survey and link to the full report, which includes tips you can use to rethink your hiring and retention strategies.

Four key association management employee survey takeaways

1.) Job satisfaction is high for most (but not all) association management employees

Based on the survey, 68% of association management employees are satisfied with their current role. However, upon further investigation, we discovered this drastically diminishes based on age: only 47% of association management employees over 40 said they were satisfied compared to 71% of association management employees 40 and under. While it’s a positive sign that most employees are satisfied, there’s still room for association management companies to improve.

2.) Nearly half of association management employees are thinking about leaving their company or the industry

The most surprising finding from the survey was that 43% of respondents stated they were thinking about leaving their company and/or industry in the next 12 months. This is likely a byproduct of the change in employee mindset over recent years.

To investigate further, we separated the data by those who were considering leaving and those who weren’t. In doing so, we found that a desire for a more fulfilling role and better bonuses, salary, and hours were the top reasons why association management employees wanted to leave their company or the industry.

3.) Association management employees are spending almost half of their time on busywork

Every association management business comes with its share of busywork. However, we discovered that association management employees are spending too much time on manual tasks that businesses could automate. According to the survey, employees spend nearly half (47%) of their time doing busywork. This is an average of 19 hours per week spent on tasks that businesses could optimize or streamline with technology. 

To find out which tasks association management employees thought could benefit the most from automation, we asked them to rank key workflows. They listed creating work orders, analyzing reports, and tracking dues and assessment payments as the top three tasks.

4.) Association management employers are making steps to improve job satisfaction

In the survey, it was clear association management employers are already making changes to boost their employees’ satisfaction. When respondents were asked, “What, if any, changes has your employer made in the last 12 months that have improved your overall job satisfaction?”, the top changes reported were adopting new technology (32%) and improving benefits (32%). Additionally, improved processes and workflows, more paid time off, and greater scheduling flexibility were in the top five changes that improved association management employee satisfaction.

Download our free guide below for more ways to level up your association management business.

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