What is unique about your search leadership? I know executive search “inside and out,” by which I mean that I’ve experienced it from every angle. My experience as an interim executive director means that I have seen many variations on search, onboarding, and board/executive relationships. I have also participated in executive searches as a board chair, a staff member, and a candidate. (…And of course as a search consultant!) I know first-hand what it takes for an executive to click with the staff and board. I also know where to look for pitfalls, and can help you think clearly about what you are looking for. Executive transitions are my specialty, and I can help you make yours a success.
How long does a typical search take? It depends on where you are starting out. Once you have a job description in hand and you are ready to go, a typical executive search might take 4-6 months. If you need me to facilitate conversations in which you rethink your job description and priorities for the role, that will add more time. I can give a more specific estimate after we have talked.
Could the board just lead the search ourselves? I don’t recommend it. First of all, executive search is time consuming. Most board members underestimate the number of hours involved in leading a search.
But you’ll want a consultant for more than just logging the hours… A well run search is about much more than finding candidates. It sets the stage for your future relationship with the new executive. And don’t forget that it’s also a public facing activity. Think about all the talented community members who will apply for this job. They love your cause, and they should still love it even if they aren’t the right fit for this role. How you shepherd the process has implications for your organization and your mission beyond the person hired.
Hiring a new executive is one of the most important things you will ever do as a board. It’s worth the investment to get it right.