Recruiting qualified candidates, screening applicants, interviewing and finding the best person for the job, negotiating the offer, and providing support post-hire takes time when you are doing a job search. How do we know? We worked closely on eight executive level searches last year and have two in process, and a few more in the hopper. Here are a few things we’ve learned along the way about managing nonprofit job searches.

    1. Lead with the right header. To begin with, let’s get one thing straight, working in a nonprofit is not the same as working in a for profit organization, so make sure to post this in the header of your job title, in your summary description, and in your job postings. Nonprofits are normal businesses, but you don’t need Fortune 500 CEO’s applying for your Nonprofit Childcare Center CEO position.
    2. Create a realistic position description with clear expectations and requirements. Take the time to interview staff and board members to learn about what may or may not be necessary for the job. If you set yourself up to look for a unicorn, you’ll never find that person. Want to see some examples, check out our Job Board at
    3. Consider including a salary range. Many position descriptions say: “The successful candidate will be offered a competitive compensation and benefits package.” To save time and eliminate candidates applying who need to be making a certain desired amount, consider posting a salary range. It will save everyone time.
    4. Target your outreach. Sites like Indeed and Glassdoor will garner many resumes and if you are lucky, you’ll get one or two that are good. Focus your outreach on targeted networks specific to the industry and area you are trying to reach, and use your board and staff to reach peers via LinkedIn and other social media outlets.
    5. Be prepared to use Zoom – at first. At least through the summer, until the vaccine is widely distributed, we will be interviewing on Zoom. The good news is this technology exists and it works, it’s not a perfect substitute for in person interviews, but it will do. Keep the interviews to under an hour, don’t invite more than 4-5 people to be present, as it is overwhelming for the candidate to meet too many people at one time (it can feel like a firing squad). Once you are down to your final two candidates, you can safely arrange for an in-person meeting/tour of your organization with masks and social distancing with a few key people.
    6. Leadership searches can be times of great anxiety – an opportunity. Our goal with executive searches is to find a candidate with the experience and passion to bring your organization to new levels of performance. We also work with organizations who know a transition is in the works and want to ensure it is smooth and thoughtful.

If we can help you with a search, reach out to us at