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Hiring Committees: Best Practices for Effectiveness

When using a hiring committee to fill your nonprofit leadership role, you gain a lot of benefits (you can read more about them here) but a hiring committee can also create a lot of delays.  This is a natural result of having multiple opinions, schedules and personalities.

As your search partner, we want to optimize the huge benefits of a search committee and mitigate the delays and frustrations.

Over our decades of partnering with nonprofits we have developed procedures that help the process run more effectively for everyone involved.  Not only does this lead to a quicker hire, it also makes the whole process a lot more enjoyable for you and the candidate.

Areas we address before launching a search:

1. Who is the main point of contact on the committee?

2. We recommend that you are consistent with your interview format – in-person vs. video – to allow for a fair evaluation.  How will your interviews be conducted?

3. How many rounds of interviews will your team need and what will the primary focus of each of those interviews be?

4. Not all committee members will be available for all interviews; what is the acceptable number of members needed to proceed with interviews?

5. Which committee members will be at every interview to provide a consistent evaluation of the candidates?

6. Do you want to be made aware of committee members who are not providing timely communication and creating delays?

3 Critical Elements of a Successful Search

These three factors play a huge part of the efficiency of the search, and the overall experience for everyone involved.


Make the search a priority by responding promptly and allowing room in your schedule for interviews. Expect interviews with the candidates to start 4 weeks from the completion of the questionnaire.

Detailed Feedback

Provide specific feedback about candidates to ensure we get a clearer and clearer picture of what you need.


The more open you are about what is going on in your organization, the better equipped we are to find the best candidate.

I will tell you, that you get out what you put in.  You need to be transparent and vulnerable about what you and your organization needs in order to find the right match.  When you give them all the information, you will be successful.

- Chara Fisher Jackson – Executive Director & CEO at Cincinnati Preschool Promise

When hiring our new President for the Metropolitan Club, we wanted a trusted partner who could guide us through the hiring process while providing a high level of professional expertise and support.

- Nancy Grayson – Board Chair of the Metropolitan Club