Our Approach

We provide the needed leadership, advice, and counsel through the design and execution of a tailored search strategy and budget, which is built together with our clients and addresses their particular needs and capacity.

We are inquisitive from the start.

Every search begins with discovery – a deep dive into your past, your present, and your future – to understand the context of this hire within your organization’s pressing needs. With a learning posture, through guided conversations with board members, staff, funders, and other appropriate stakeholders, we build an inventory of necessary core competencies and context that inform the background for both a targeted search strategy and a challenge statement compelling enough to attract active and passive job seekers alike. Our clients find these position descriptions to be a useful tool not only in current and future searches, but in external public relations, the long-term retention of their staff, and the re-engagement of their board and funders as well.

We find top-notch candidates.

It’s not enough to advertise or reach into a database – though we do both, and are proud of our extensive, connected  global network; your search firm should spend the bulk of its energy targeting lists of hundreds of more, aligned with your mission and functional needs, who might inform the search as nominators or interested parties themselves. We pride ourselves on our track record of presenting deep and diverse pools of candidates, thoughtfully built from personalized contact with our broad and trusted networks across the nonprofit, philanthropic, academic, and corporate sectors; simply put, we work the phones with tenacity, and present pools that often stretch our clients’ imagination around the types of candidates they should be considering. We consider it a hallmark of our firm that our clients’ comfort in their ultimate hiring decisions grows out of the full portfolio of market data that we bring to them and our wise counsel that comes standard, through this outreach and our experience, in every one of our searches.

We get to the heart of the story.

Many in the mission-driven sector bring compelling personal narratives that drive their professional choices. The best candidates know how to tell these stories quite well, and often hiring committees are swayed. The best hires, on the other hand, may not be as expert and, as a result, see their candidacies dim. Our three-tiered screening process – resume screening, telephone assessment, and in-person or video-conference interviewing – allows us to unpack professional track record as well as personal drivers. Our deep understanding of how each candidate fits within a rubric of core competencies, culture fit, and selection criteria allows us to become thought partners with our search committees as they think creatively and courageously about the full constellation of talent they seek and the culture they wish to build.

We close searches.

Though we remain at all times your agent during this search, our candidates feel comfortable confiding in us about nuances in their career choices, the effects of decisions they have made, and those critical pieces of their professional and personal puzzle that might make the difference between accepting an offer and turning it down. Our stewardship of candidates ensures that we advise you on making your most attractive offer – including the many factors beyond salary that are motivating your candidate of choice. As needed, we will offer guidance and support throughout the negotiation and acceptance stage of the search, or make the offer on your behalf. We also ensure that your hire represents your organization well; your hire becomes the face of your organization and thorough background checking, therefore, is non-negotiable. We reference finalists with peers, supervisors, and direct reports, both on and off list, to learn firsthand how certain personality traits, education, or experience manifest themselves as a culture and skills fit in daily work environments. Our scanning for credit, criminal, and education irregularities enables you to present your hire with confidence that there is no remaining unknown exposure. We are mindful of communicating with candidates, applicants, sources, and reference contacts in a way that is respectful of their time and investment and reflects a thoughtful process.

We stick with you.

Throughout the search, we amass copious amounts of information on our clients and their hires, as well as the market and context in which they will operate after the search ends. This information becomes the building blocks of your hire’s onboarding plan, and helps to ensure a smooth transition from finalist to hire to incumbent. Our clients find this transition support especially valuable during founder transitions and surprise senior vacancies, and within organizations undergoing large-scale change or new service or program expansion, where unforeseen challenges can arise with the placement, board, and staff.