Here’s how good search works.
We believe executive search in the civic sector has to work well. This is where our decades of experience pay off. We’ve created a proven method, based in a framework of partnership and trust. So we work closely with our clients from the first announcement of an opportunity all the way through a successful candidate’s first few months in their new role.
Doing an executive search gives your organization a unique opportunity. It’s a chance to have crucial conversations about the future direction, priorities and challenges facing your organization.
More than filling a position, it’s a way to engage your stakeholders.
During the engagement phase, we help our clients craft a thorough and compelling position description and organizational profile:
Interview: We identify and interview key stakeholders.
Summarize: We condense the results of those stakeholder discussions.
Translate: We create a job description based on the interview results.
Consult: We help our client co-author the description.
Write: We draft an organizational profile that tells our client’s story and includes the position description as a part of that story.
After finalizing the organizational profile and position description, we begin reaching out to candidates. The ultimate goal is to provide a strong slate of candidates to interview.
Our outreach process includes the following steps:
Announcement: We determine, in consultation with our clients, the best outlets for announcing the leadership opportunity and handle the logistics of broadcasting the announcement.
Research: We personally engage the marketplace by calling qualified candidates and recruiting them to apply. We have a rich database and an extensive network developed over 20+ years of civic search work.
Candidate Contact: We screen applications and contact those who appear to meet the requirements of the position. We also reach out to candidates who surfaced as a result of our research and proactively recruit them to consider the opportunity. We serve as trust brokers between candidates and our clients and we practice discretion, diplomacy and diligence in our outreach to the talent marketplace.
Candidate Assessment: Semi-finalist candidates complete a proprietary assessment to provide our clients with additional data and to directly inform our interview questions.
Initial Interviews: We personally interview candidates who possess both strong qualifications and a strong interest in the position.
Candidate Presentation: Finally, we meet with our clients to present a list of semi-finalists candidates and assist them in determining which candidates they would like to interview.
We support our clients in their decision-making process, including sitting in on candidate interviews. Our goal is to facilitate discussions that result in consensus decisions and recommendations about our client’s new hires.
Decision making takes the following format:
Interviews: We help our clients create interview questions that yield helpful responses. We sit in on every candidate interview. We do not actively participate in the client interviews, but observing both the client and the candidate during the interview process helps us assist our clients in making better and timelier decisions.
Selection: We help our clients reach consensus on the candidates by prioritizing selection criteria, determining individual candidate strengths and helping our clients prepare an offer.
Presentation of Offer: We contact the finalist candidate on behalf of our client and present the offer. We find it’s best to have an intermediary involved in these discussions. It’s a quick and effective way to handle anything that needs to be negotiated.
Reference Checking: Concurrent with the presentation of the offer, we conduct in-depth reference checks, usually contacting several individuals including current and former colleagues and supervisors. We provide our clients with reference summaries.
Finally, the process comes full circle with the amplification period. Just as going public with the announcement of a search gives an organization an opportunity to tell its story, presenting the newly hired leader to all stakeholders—and to the public—provides a similar opportunity. We spread the word about our client’s new hire through social media and traditional media outlets using PR best practices, always working to compliment our client’s own communication strategy.
We want everybody to be successful from the start, so our process includes an on-boarding plan for the organization and the new hire, including consulting for the new hire’s first 90 days.
Our process ends with a debrief meeting to capture what worked and what didn’t, both for the client and for us. It’s a chance to do better next time, but also to share expertise with the civic community at large, since many board members and stakeholders serve in multiple positions and can transfer their knowledge across the entire sector.