Compromising Your Charity’s Executive Search

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Looking for quality leadership for your charitable organization is not as easy as it may seem.

It’s possible to compromise your search, however, once the issues are recognized the right strategies and plans can be implemented to correct them.

Ways Executive Searches Can Be Compromised

Limited Reach

One of the most common ways executive searches in a charity is compromised is by the limited reach of the hiring organization into the candidate talent pool.

The size of the available talent pool and the competition for that talent may be challenging factors. From a small selection of great candidates, other charitable organizations are trying to hire the same people.

Not to mention related salary and compensation issues. There is upward pressure on salaries to be sure.

Access to top talent can feel like a lose-lose situation for charities that can only be remedied by finding ways to expand the reach of your search.

Lack of Diversity in Search Criteria

The second way executive searches may be compromised is by a lack of willingness to expand the search criteria.

To have a successful charitable sector executive search, you need to be looking for the best possible candidate and not just the best possible candidate who meets a particular set of pre-determined (possibly “historical”) criteria.

Too often, organizations get caught up in finding someone who meets specific experience and qualifications. They forget to consider if that person is the best fit for the organization and end up hiring someone who is not the best candidate for the job.

You can remedy this by taking a step back and re-evaluating the criteria you use to evaluate and select candidates.

Are you looking for someone who meets a particular set of qualifications, or are you looking for the best possible candidate?

If it is the latter, you need to be open to candidates who may not meet all your qualifications but could be great for the job, even if they are from outside the charitable sector.

Use a variety of criteria when evaluating them, including cultural fit, values alignment, and personality type – not just the “best-qualified” person.

High Charges

Is using a specialty recruitment firm a solution to the first two problems? Unfortunately, many charitable organizations may be unable to afford to use an executive search firm. This lack of resources may limit the best way for the charity to find quality candidates.

It also means that you are likely to miss great candidates who are not actively seeking a new job but would be open if the right opportunity were presented to them.

Consider ways to overcome this problem. Does your organization have a donor or donors who would help fund this? Or, have you connected with a search firm offering flexible service and/or pricing models that align with your organization needs?

Lack of Time & Experience

The final way you may compromise your executive searches is by the lack of time and experience of the person/people conducting the search.

Often, finding a new executive falls to someone already stretched thin and does not have the time, experience, or resources necessary to conduct a successful search.

Just placing an ad and hoping for the best is not the solution.

A poorly executed and under-resourced search will not achieve the results you are looking for.

How We Can Help

At Cause Leadership, we specialize in attracting and placing leadership for charitable (and non-profit) organizations.

We can help you find the leadership you need with services and pricing models that align with your needs.

Get in touch to see how we can positively impact your organization’s leadership recruitment strategy.

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