Each nonprofit and its situation are unique, but in each case the outcome is guaranteed: an exceptionally well-qualified placement who is exceptionally well-suited to fit your mission and meet your needs.

Your people are your single most valuable and indispensable asset in achieving excellence. The demand for exceptional people with the right combination of skills and experience is intensifying, and successful non-profit organizations recognize that they must make a deliberate investment of time and effort in order to find and recruit them.

When you engage DickersonBakker Executive Search to recruit a candidate for your nonprofit we will do two things.

First, we will walk you through our seven-step structured process to find, evaluate, present, and recruit the best available candidates for your position. Our process is thorough, time-tested, and proven to work.

At the same time, we stay flexible to respond to unique circumstances that arise or specific requests you have as a partner in the process.

Since each nonprofit and its situation are unique, the particulars of an executive search for each will vary, but in each case, the outcome is guaranteed: an exceptionally well-qualified placement who is exceptionally well-suited to fit your mission and meet your needs.

Our Seven-Step Search Process

Most searches will require four to six months to complete.

Click on any of the stages shown in the Search Process info-graphic for information about each step in the process.

STEP ONE: Assessment, Planning & Profiling

2 to 4 weeks
  • Meet with your Search Team and other stakeholders to build a full understanding of the organization, position opening, and context for the opportunity.
  • Gather documents and information about the position (job description, benefits package, etc.).
  • Agree on a search strategy and finalize the budget.
  • Craft an Opportunity Profile for the position.

STEP TWO: Sourcing, Marketing & Networking

4 to 6 weeks
  • Aggressively promote the position through active networking within trade associations, professional networks, and circles of influence.
  • Conduct an extensive keyword search of our talent bank, third-party candidate resume databases, and social media sites such as LinkedIn.
  • Create and place targeted ads in print venues, affinity groups, special-interest/association websites, job boards, email blasts, and social media sites pertinent to the location and type of position.

STEP THREE: Pre-Screening & Evaluation

3 to 5 weeks
  • Provide timely response to all inquiries received as a result of promotion and advertising, so you don’t have to.
  • Evaluate and pre-screen candidates to winnow the field down to candidates who are qualified, have genuine interest, and meet your requirements.
  • Implement professional personality assessments such as DiSC and Myers-Brigg.
  • Consult with the Search Team through the screening process, providing regular updates and real-time online access to candidate data.

STEP FOUR: Cohort Presentation & Interviews

2 to 4 weeks
  • Select and evaluate primary candidates of interest.
  • Coordinate logistics, planning, and preparations for onsite personal interviews.
  • Work closely with the Search Team to establish an agenda, questions, and format for the interviews.
  • Prepare comprehensive written profiles for each candidate.
  • Lead the interviews and participate as a professional resource to the interviewing team.
  • Facilitate discussions with the Search Team as they review and assess each of the candidates.

STEP FIVE: Due Diligence & Verification

2 weeks
  • Follow-up with candidates to address outstanding questions.
  • Gather additional due diligence to aid in selection of the finalist(s).
  • Conduct in-depth reference research and background checks.
  • Verify candidate information such as degrees, prior employment dates, etc.

STEP SIX: Selection, Negotiation, & Appointment

2 to 4 weeks
  • Select finalist(s).
  • Arrange for candidate(s) and their spouse — if applicable — to attend “meet & greets” with staff, Board members, and other stakeholders, if necessary.
  • Determine compensation and contract specifics.
  • Formalize offer letter and contract details, if needed.
  • Secure formal approvals and execute documents.

STEP SEVEN: Communication & Onboarding/Transition Assistance

2 weeks
  • Create a communication plan to announce the appointment.
  • Make courtesy calls to other top-tier candidates.
  • Maintain contact with the candidate post-placement to ensure the transition is proceeding well.
  • Provide additional on-boarding/transition counsel and assistance as needed.

Why our process works

Our process works. Here’s why:

First, we invest extra time at the front end to make sure we have a thorough understanding of your position opening and organizational context so we can find you a candidate who will be the right “fit”.

Success requires more than matching a resume to a job description. In a nonprofit environment, it is vitally important to find a candidate who shares your values, understands your mission and culture, and will relate well with your staff and stakeholders.

With 35+ years of experience in the non-profit sector, we pick up quickly on nuances, subtleties, and intangible characteristics that others are likely to miss.

Second, we understand this work involves both art and science. We respect the process, but we drive the process, it doesn’t drive us.

People with exceptional talent are not usually out there looking for work. First we need to find them. Then we need to make a connection. And finally we need to help them see how your opportunity is the perfect fit for them.

There is an art to doing that well and – as our company’s founder likes to say, “To be successful, sometimes you just need to let the process breathe.”

Take the time to get it right the first time, and you will save yourself time, money, and unnecessary angst later on down the road.

What does exceptional look like for you?

Contact us today to discuss how our team of experienced professionals can help you get there. Guaranteed.

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