Common Pitfalls In Recruiting And How To Avoid Them


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Ever gotten to the end of a search only to have your favorite candidate turn down your offer? Ever get tripped up by a late entry of an internal and unqualified candidate? Ever find yourself throwing a life jacket to a candidate drowning in third party reference gossip? Executive searches are landmines ready to explode; with candidate pools larger than ever, search committees need to work harder to navigate the minefields. Let two expert recruiters help you anticipate and avoid common pitfalls.

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Common Pitfalls In Recruiting And How To Avoid Them

  1. 1. Avoiding Common Pitfalls of Mission-Driven Recruiting Laura Gassner Otting, Founder and President Alison Falk, Vice President Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group LLC October 6, 2010 Use Twitter Hashtag #npweb Special Thanks To Our Sponsors
  2. 2. Helping ordinary people raise extraordinary amounts for nonprofits is all we do, and we love it. A Proud Sponsor of
  3. 3. Today’s Speakers Laura Gassner Otting, President Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group 617-527-9661 Alison Falk, Vice President Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group 978-890-7053 Hosting: Sam Frank, Synthesis Partnership Assisting with chat questions: Chris Dumas, FirstGiving
  4. 4. When Good Searches Go Bad Avoiding the Pitfalls Overview Hiring in a Hurry Unrealistic Expectations Death by Rumors Breaches of Confidentiality Looking through Rose- Bride or Bridesmaid? Colored Glasses
  5. 5. Pitfall: Hiring in a Hurry Pitfall #1 Watch out for: Letting Urgency Overshadow Strategy Ways to Avoid the Problem: • Develop a strategic roadmap • Determine who you’re looking for • Involve staff and key constituents
  6. 6. Pitfall: Wearing Rose-Colored Glasses Pitfall #2 Watch out for: Ignoring Market Perception Ways to Avoid the Problem: • Identify and understand market perceptions • Develop compelling position descriptions to address recruiting obstacles • Mutual courtship
  7. 7. Pitfall: Bride or Bridesmaid? Pitfall #3 Watch out for: Mishandling Internal Candidates Ways to Avoid the Problem: • Don’t encourage non-viable internal candidates • Include staff and key constituents in construction of position description • Create an even playing field
  8. 8. Pitfall: Staff Role Confusion Pitfall #4 Watch out for: Not Setting Clear Expectations for Staff Ways to Avoid the Problem: • Consider the staff’s point of view • Give staff a voice in the search • Set expectations at launch of search • Communication is a powerful tool
  9. 9. Pitfall: Digging for Dirt Pitfall #5 Watch out for: Distinguishing References From Rumors Ways to Avoid the Problem: • Designate point person to oversee references • Counsel the search committee • Conduct ethical “on” and “off list” references • Understand the complete story with negative references
  10. 10. Pitfall: Spilling the Beans Pitfall #6 Watch out for: Breaches of Confidentiality Ways to Avoid the Problem: • Set expectations at start of search • Search Committee Confidentiality Agreements • Collect materials after meetings • “Scare them straight”
  11. 11. Pitfall: Expecting Sacrifice Pitfall #7 Watch out for: Unrealistic Ideas About Compensation Ways to Avoid the Problem: • Discuss compensation expectations throughout the entire search, at every stage • Figure out creative ways to enhance total compensation packages if necessary • Communicate!
  12. 12. When Do You Need Help? Hiring a Firm Using a Search Firm vs. Going it Alone • Consider your organizations history with external searches • Identify potential recruiting obstacles • Consider staff support • Research different consultant offerings
  13. 13. Resources: Please see our Article Library at:
  14. 14. Find the listings for our current season of webinars and register at Chris Dumas 707-812-1234 Special Thanks To Our Sponsors