The search process consists of four highly organized steps:
Step 1: Insight (Result – position description)
We learn everything we can about your organization, its history, mission, challenges, strategies, culture, personalities, programs, finances, funding streams, operations and ambitions. It is an organic process and can be quite extensive.
The tangible result of this process is a 3-5 page position description which incorporates background information on the organization, and the experience, competencies and style that the organization is seeking in their next leader. We also develop intelligence for sourcing scripts as well as information packets for prospects.
Step 2: Sourcing (Result – candidate selection)
Sourcing is the heart of our work, and involves broad outreach and individual discussions with a variety of sources who themselves can become nominators, advisors or candidates. Just as we learn about organizations, we continually learn about and capture intelligence on nonprofit leaders as they develop their own careers. Our longstanding relationships and service to the sector extends beyond any individual search. Knowledge contributed by others lends context to nominations and provides invaluable insight we then share with clients.
Sourcing generally takes place in two stages, with a midpoint meeting scheduled to allow for guidance and corrected targeting as the search progresses. The tangible outcome of the sourcing process is selection of candidates, typically 4-6 to be interviewed.
Step 3: Interviews (Result – finalist selection)
We typically orchestrate two rounds of interviews. The first round is structured and allows candidates and search committees to determine whether there is a basic fit. A second round for finalist candidates only is unstructured and more extensive. Our teams provide guidance during the interview process, as well as candidate assessment materials which tie back to the position description and can be tailored to the preferences of the search committee and the unique requirements of each search.
As candidates are being evaluated they are themselves also evaluating whether this is the appropriate next step in their career. The interview process is respectful of each person’s time and sensibilities, and all information shared remains confidential throughout.
Step 4: Selection (Result – negotiation & close)
We typically provide support during the negotiation phase, helping both sides to surface concerns and navigate discussions of sensitive issues like salary, benefits, transition, severance and other terms. We check references, conduct degree verification checks, facilitate criminal and financial background checks, and help shape an offer letter. This is a delicate time in the process, and collaboration between our team, the client and the candidate is critical to the success of the process.
Searches generally require 3 to 5 months depending on the time of year, turn-around on the part of clients and prospects, and the challenge of the search.