Tips for Leading An Executive Search

Posted June 22, 2023

As executive search professionals, we get asked a lot about how to lead an effective search. We asked our CEO and a few search leads for their perspectives. They provided advice on identifying the gaps in your staff to ensure you’re hiring for the right position and how to look beyond a resume to find the perfect candidate for the job.


Kat Landa: In so many cases, we’re not necessarily just filling a position with something very similar to what they just had. It’s typically about taking an organization into a completely new space. 

Guirlaine Belizaire: So trust is essential to the work that we do. You are being invited into a private world, if you will, and it’s an honor. 

Kat Landa: It literally has the potential to completely transform the trajectory of the organization and their ability to fulfill on their mission. 

Guirlaine Belizaire: Be very clear – as clear as you can be – about what it is that you want from talent, and also be open to being surprised. Sometimes what you think is a top criteria may not be. 

Suzanne Weber: If you keep all your definitions too tight, you’ll only get people that are on, you know, a straight path. And you’ll overlook all the rising stars, all the diversity and perspectives and experience that might actually end up being extremely valuable. 

Kat Landa: There’s a lot of that nuance that we can really help to suss out and understand and know the right kinds of questions to ask. 

Guirlaine Belizaire: So you have a sense of what it is that you want, but also coming into this process, being open to the person who is in front of you and what they might add to the organization that you are not even aware that you needed or wanted. 

Suzanne Weber: At the beginning of the search, we want to make sure that we have a job description that is going to motivate the best candidates, that the committee has an opportunity to be heard clearly about their priorities. With those things in hand, we can draft great materials, we can mount a great campaign, and we can build an exceptional candidate pool. 

If you are seeking a partner to help ensure recruitment success, we are here to help. Learn more about our nonprofit executive search services and contact us today.