Steps in the Executive Search Process

Leading Transitions has refined a process to help nonprofit organizations find new leadership that is effective to the functions and meets the goals of your organization. Our network includes over 2,800 contacts to recruit from in the search process. We take the following steps to find the best candidate for the position:

  1. If possible, meet with the outgoing Executive Director / President and CEO to assist with individual transition plans.
  2. Where applicable, make recommendations on legacy-building fund development opportunities.
  3. Develop a comprehensive transition timeline with clear action steps and accompanying dates.
  4. Assist with the formation of a transition and search committee, a sub-set of the Board of Directors.
  5. Recommend goals for organizational development (if recommended) during transition and search phase; Determine resources for support.
  6. Work  on the continued messaging of the departure announcement(s).
  7. Assist in the appointment of an Interim executive leader, if needed.
  8. Consult with the transition and search committee on staff, donor, constituent, community, etc. communications.
  9. Advise the committee on matters contributing to healthy transition practices that are mutually beneficial for the organization and for the new incoming leader.
  10. Coordinate all meetings of the transition and search committee.
  11. Meet with staff to help set expectations for search and include them in specific portions of the process.
  12. Develop and finalize a robust position profile for local, regional and targeted national distribution.
  13. Create a constituent and candidate outreach and recruitment strategy.
  14. Coordinate and facilitate all related position profile dissemination and marketing, including client suggestions, my recommendations and the firm’s private candidate and professional groups.
  15. Make direct contact with a select group of people that that may be identified as potential candidates or who may be closely linked to a potential candidate.
  16. Perform preliminary review of applicants’ materials (resumes, letters of interest, salary parameters and professional references).
  17. Update the transition committee chairperson and committee members throughout process.
  18. Based upon an applicant’s match with the skills and accomplishments listed in the position profile, sort applicants into three major tiers.
  19. Help the transition and search committee determine which candidates to bring in for a first set of interviews.
  20. Design interview process with the transition and search committee, including format development, location determination and calendar setting.
  21. Provide a draft list of questions to ask candidates that combines our experience doing this work with the specific inquiries that need to be made on behalf of the organization.
  22. Facilitate the interviews and committee debriefings of each individual candidate as well as the final debriefing post-interviews.
  23. Manage any potentially embarrassing or awkward aspects of a particular individual’s candidacy should they come to light during the course of the process.
  24. Assist the transition committee with compensation and/or relocation issues and discussions.
  25. Recommend steps for orienting the new leader to impact the greatest future success for that individual and for the organization as a whole.
  26. Handle communication with, and the rejection of candidates in a timely and politically-wise and sensitive manner.

Explore a relationship with Leading Transitions today: 414.228.9860  |


Testimonial 1
"Although still early in our re-org process, it appears clear I owe you.

I’m certainly feeling much more optimistic regarding the opportunities that might be possible during this challenging time of transition. Thank you for your insights, connections, and support."
Testimonial 2
"Mindy, thank you so much. It has been such a pleasure to work with you. Thank you for your flexibility. I have so enjoyed working with the staff and our boards since I took the interim role. We are in a better place today and I am very appreciative of all of the work our staff has done to get us here. It is a wonderful job. I look forward to our future. Thanks again for everything."
Testimonial 3
"Mindy is a life changing human who is incredible
in this community."
Testimonial 4
I genuinely appreciated the time you gave me and the candid information you provided. It was very helpful and will hopefully help me make a more informed decision.
Testimonial 5
"Our conversation on Friday seriously helped me seal the deal with (the organization) and feel confident in how I went about doing it. And that was just an extension of your help about 2 weeks ago, preparing me for the interview. And this whole experience is an extension of our open, honest, insightful conversation 2 months ago as I began this journey. Thank you!"
Testimonial 6
"You have been amazing throughout this process and I want you
to know that you have made this a little easier
because you are so helpful."
Testimonial 7
"Thanks again for finding time in your event-filled schedule to meet with me. I appreciate and benefit from your insights and attention to my questions and concerns."
Testimonial 8
Thank you for your amazing guidance and leadership throughout our search process. You guided us every step of the way. You were so easy to reach and communicate with. I so enjoyed working with you."
Testimonial 9
"Can't even begin to thank you for the inclusion and your support during the selection process. Your encouragement made a huge difference."
Testimonial 10
"I hope our paths cross again, thank you for your kindness, wisdom, and inspirational guidance."
Testimonial 11
"Thanks, Mindy - It was WONDERFUL to spend some time with you - did my heart good! Your energy is always infectious. I really appreciated your time and advice as I navigate this last arc in my career work. You are inspiring and practical at the same time!"


"Many thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience at today's executive transitions program. You did a terrific job leading the discussion and keeping the conversation flowing and focused."

Leading Transitions