Executive Search: Toward a More Inclusive Process

Apr 25, 2023 | All Posts, Highlights from the Latest Newsletter, Team Expertise

By Emily Bruce, Senior Associate

A successful search for your next nonprofit Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director, or development professional is a meticulous process with inevitable twists and turns. moss+ross guides search committees and nonprofit leaders based on our experience conducting more than 90 searches since 2010.

As a firm, we have a core value to embrace diversity and inclusion through our hands-on work with community partners and clients. In our search work we strive to use an inclusive lens in every step of our process. For a typical search we:

  • Commit to an inclusive process: Working with clients to ensure their search committees include members with diverse backgrounds and perspectives and are committed to an inclusive process
  • Seek multiple viewpoints: Conducting constituent interviews to understand multiple viewpoints of what the organization needs and what essential skills are needed for the role
  • Create inclusive position descriptions: Creating position profiles that use inclusive language and avoid unnecessary conditions that may exclude qualified candidates from the field of potential applicants
  • Reach out: Posting to a broad list of targeted job sites tailored to each client
  • Recruit actively: Encouraging and supporting potential candidates, with intentional efforts to reach underrepresented groups
  • Define criteria: Evaluating candidates against a clearly defined matrix of required skills
  • Question fairly: Asking consistent and specific interview questions to ensure candidates are fairly evaluated
  • Encourage communication: Structuring the interview process to ensure candidates have an opportunity to learn as much about the organization as the search committee is learning about them
  • Keep learning: Providing ongoing education and advising about areas of potential bias.

The moss+ross process continually evolves to meet the needs of our clients and the communities they serve. With each new search, we learn, grow, and take steps to make our process more inclusive. At the end of a search, candidates have moved through a thoughtful process that values their time and expertise, and our clients hire the best leaders for their organizations. Call us if we can help you find your next great leader!