Not-for-profit organizations frequently structure their searches in a way that allows them to choose among the best available candidates. And some search firms are adept brokers between institutions that are looking for a new executive and various individuals who are seeking such positions.
Our philosophy is different. We do not base our business on a "stable" of applicants who are seeking new positions and might be appropriate to our client’s needs. Instead, we use our databases and other resources to inquire of people who may know executives that are likely to be a good fit for the position, whether or not they are currently seeking a new job, and then contact those prospective candidates directly to determine their level of interest in the opportunity.
Put another way, we work only for the institution and never for an applicant. We are retained consultants who use professional, proactive search techniques that have been honed and perfected over the years to help our clients resolve leadership issues by searching for and recruiting the best candidate, not just the best available person.
At Brigham Hill, we apply proven executive search techniques to help not-for-profits recruit outstanding candidates who will lead their organizations with vision, sensitivity to mission, strong interpersonal skills, and business acumen.
Search In Seven Steps
A successful search requires the thorough and seamless execution of several interdependent steps. By adhering to a rigorous and disciplined process, Brigham Hill Consultancy assures high quality, timely and effective searches for its clients. The seven key steps are as follows:
- Strategy Development
Brigham Hill Consultancy launches a search by meeting with various constituents who will have either influence or decision-making power over the choice of new leadership. We identify the client’s underlying needs, any unstated agendas, and the cultural elements that will impact a successful search.
A customized strategy is then developed and articulated in a formal specification. This document describes the institution for whom we are conducting the search, essential components of the position, skill and experience requirements, and personal traits that the successful candidate should possess.
Finally, we review the specification with the appropriate decision makers to assure that all parties have a common understanding of the position and to clarify the profile before it is shared with others. This "living document" is subsequently used as a guideline to maintain focus and discipline throughout the search.
- Candidate Identification
Brigham Hill Consultancy uses a combination of proprietary files, original research, on-line databases and other resources to identify prospective candidates. Once contact has been established, we share our client’s objectives with them and determine both the qualifications of the potential candidates as well as their interest in pursuing the opportunity.
- Candidate Evaluation
Evaluation of candidates begins with the initial telephone interview and continues with analysis of career credentials, verification of education, and an in-depth, face-to-face interview by the Brigham Hill consultant. We then define a short list of finalists and present their credentials to the client.
- Candidate Visits
Brigham Hill Consultancy facilitates interviews between candidates and clients to assure that each party will learn as much as possible about the other and thereby reach an informed decision. We help plan travel arrangements, participate in organizing both parties’ schedules during the trip, and take a hands-on approach throughout the process to ensure a smooth and productive visit.
We undertake proactive reference checks through extensive personal and telephone interviews. Whenever possible we employ "back channels" to identify references not provided by a candidate but whom we believe to have knowledge of an individual’s performance in previous or present positions. The results are reported to the client in a summary that typically includes career highlights, particular strengths and weaknesses, information about personal behavior and characteristics, and other findings. We also work with the client to anticipate specific organizational changes that may be necessary to increase the likelihood of the candidate being successful in the new role.
Compensation and relocation negotiations are delicate discussions that benefit from the involvement of a third-party consultant. Because the resulting transaction formally establishes what will be an ongoing and often close relationship between the participants, we act as an "honest broker" to provide objective intermediation of the process.
During the transition period, Brigham Hill Consultancy monitors the individual’s move to the new organization and continues to act as a third-party facilitator. We also follow up with both the client and the candidate during the first year of employment to assure a successful transition into the new position.