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Executive Search, Job Search

Our Search Process

First and foremost, we put a premium on involving all stakeholders in our search process. Nonprofit CEO searches require buy-in from governing board members, staff members and outside stakeholders including donors, funders, public officials and sometimes clients.  Without buy-in by the full weight of the organization it will be difficult for the nonprofit CEO to engage internal and external stakeholders in the work of the organization. As more and more nonprofits and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) reach out for collaborations with other organizations the CEO must have the weight of his or her organization behind him or her.


Our Process... (12-16 weeks on average)


Step 1. Stakeholder Engagement.  Engage deeply with governing board members, staff members and targeted stakeholders in one to one or small group sessions to learn about the organization, its people, its values its strengths and weaknesses and its services. Learning and understanding equals passion for Hagel Executive Search. We want to be a passionate advocate for your organization.


We typically cap the stakeholder engagement phase with a working session with the full nonprofit governing board of the client. We ask the board to review the material we have collected and prioritize the skills, attributes and former experience they desire from top candidates.  Seeking agreement on those criteria provides a common yardstick for everyone involved in the search to use when evaluating candidates.


Step 2. Position Profile Development. Utilizing the outcomes from the Board Workshop, as well as the materials provided by the client, we will finalize the Position Profile which will describe the organization; its programs; community amenities and lifestyle information; position description; salary and available benefits; the prioritized experience and personal attributes required of the candidates; the short, medium and long term challenges facing the organization; and the search timetable


Step 3.  Advertising. We believe the more people who are aware of the position, the better the odds of identifying great candidates. We advertise the position in a targeted group of publications and websites that have produced great referrals and great candidates in the past. We make special efforts to reach communities of color and other under-represented groups. Our objective in advertising is to create awareness of the position. It is not our primary method of identifying top candidates.


Step 4. Direct Contact. We have an extensive national group of contacts and resources. We work with that group to identify top candidates. We believe every search is unique and don't riffle through the files for the usual suspects. We are committed to finding the best and brightest, not the tired and retired.


Step 5. Candidate Evaluation.  Our candidate evaluation process is extremely thorough and includes written questionnaires, behavioral assessments, critical thinking skills assessments, personal interviews with our staff, online preliminary interviews with client search committees, in-depth reference and background checks, web searches, social media site searches, and informal reference checks. 


Step 6. Candidate Communications. This step really encompasses all of our steps. We make sure that all candidates know what their status is in the search. We take great pains to respect each and every candidate or applicant, no matter their status. We believe we do a better job at this than any other nonprofit executive search firm does. When we represent your organization, your reputation is affected by everything we do on your behalf. We want everyone to leave the process feeling respected.


Step 7.  Search Committee Interviews with Candidates. We support all interviews with candidates whether they are online or onsite. We coach the search committee when coaching is appropriate and needed and work with candidates around scheduling travel for interviews. We have great skills in helping a search committee arrive at final decisions.


Step 8. Final Candidate Negotiations. This frequently is the most complex part of the search because candidates and search committees might be in agreement on their interest in one another but find a sticky negotiation point standing in their way. We work with both parties to help them find areas of agreement and areas of accommodation when necessary. We will help create the basic tenets of employment contracts and work with the appropriate legal counsel to create the final contract.


Step 9. Close and Relocation. We make sure that everyone in the process has been thanked. We can provide referrals to moving companies and realtors if desired. We do not have a financial interest in any of our referrals. We also have provided separate contractual assistance in helping spouses or partners get connected in the community when necessary.

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