Recruiting Options to Source an Executive Director

I volunteer for a non-profit organization that is planning to hire a new Executive Director after the current person retires. What successful recruiting methods have you employed in finding the right candidate? Hiring a recruiting firm is not an option.

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  • Hi Carolyn! If the company can afford- I would pay for a job post on indeed and zip recruiter. In my experience those sources reach the most candidates. If you can’t use a recruiter then the volunteers themselves will have to be the recruiters (: maybe make a flyer about it with the link to the posting to carry with you when you go to networking events or community events. Talk it up on linked in and other social media you use. Have contacts share the posts. These types of roles in non profit usually get filled through word of mouth and networking. You could also do your own passive sourcing on linked in for people with the title / background you’re looking for and invite them to connect with you and talk about the opportunity. Good luck! 

  • Hi Carolyn, I would make sure you have a clear picture of what skills, attributes and experiences the ideal candidate possesses and what you need them to focus on - is it fundraising, staff development, increasing volunteers, public awareness, etc.  Based on the profile, brainstorm on where you might find this person?  Are they working at a similar but smaller non-profit?  In a different role ready to take on leadership?  Are they an executive in a for profit business who may want to be "inspired" again in there career?  Are there any current people tied to the organization through volunteering, vendors, legislators, bankers etc that would fill the role, or know someone who might?  Are there people in the community who are vocal and passionate about your mission?  They might be a fit or could be a potentially great source for candidates.  Once who figure out the ideal candidate and where they might be, then get your message in front of them as often as you can.  On average it takes 4-7 "touches" for a person to respond to a message.  This will definitely take a lot of legwork but it will really get the ball rolling and pay off in the long run.           

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