10 Essential Interview Questions for Nonprofit Candidates: Selecting the Right Fit for Mission-driven Organizations
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People often appreciate go-getters—these individuals who are self-motivated and has a drive for initiative and passion, who keep on moving forward with great confidence and insurmountable drive. However, when organizations are faced with big, important decisions—details that will influence the entire company and its future—a pause to do planning long-term makes a big difference.
Sadly, the trend with nonprofits is that they stumble even before starting when it comes to the executive search process. This mundane misstep has no relation to searching candidates, interviewing them, or making a final decision. However, this can have a great impact on the entire procedure and the end result.
Instead of diving into an executive search with a call for candidates or recommendation of applicants, it is significant to perform the research and plan out the process. If the search firm does not do this, the ultimate search outcome may not be the best result for the institution.
Here are the steps that an executive search team needs in order to become successful in a nonprofit executive search?
Perform assessment of the current state and direction of the institution.
A company must assess its current state and the direction it is headed. It must check if it requires areas in improvement such as unclear leadership roles, lack of strategy, poorly communicated mission, an oppressive work culture—will lead a company in the search of finding the best leader for the future of the company.
Concur regarding the priorities for the search.
As soon as the company has the assessed the current state and strategic direction of the organization, a search firm can determine the new executive’s skills, qualities, and experience that it requires. The kind of leader must be determined that will move forward with its mission must be identified. Concerns like a leader must be able to instill internal and external transformation as well as implement strategic changes.
The search committee must agree on these points before doing the actual search itself. Skills and expertise must be prioritized. An executive search firm will be able to find a good match if it understands the needs of the organization and the kind of executive leader that it needs.
Outline communication plans throughout the whole search process.
It is crucial to have communication throughout the whole process. Internal and external stakeholders must always be kept in touch by the search committee through leadership and strategic direction conversations in order the make the presumptive transition smoother. Inputs of stakeholders that involve senior staff should be heard. In addition, the communication plan with the candidates must be planned out, in the beginning, middle, and end of the search process. Candidates must be well-informed and transparency must also be put into practice.
Prepare for the transition.
Some executive firms find it weird to plan long-term that goes beyond the actual transition. However, having a transition plan provides the next person-to-take-charge to know what happens in the company he is about to lead. A timeline should be determined, duties must be delegated, and training and communication must be planned. Candidates will appreciate the whole process when they are kept up to date with the search process.
Whenever a company has a big project that requires big decisions, it is tempting for them to sink and swim. However, assessment, determination of priorities, gathering of inputs, and planning will be able to make the nonprofit executive search successful.