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DRiWaterstone Candidate Stories: Angelique Wilkins

At DRiWaterstone, we aim to connect mission and purpose-driven candidates with organizations that share their values. We specialize in bridging the gap between individuals who are passionate about making a difference and organizations that align with their mission. In this Q&A discussion, we have the privilege of exploring the experiences and insights of Angelique Wilkins, who we recently helped place in a senior role at the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC).  

In this conversation, we learn more about the candidate experience of Angelique: we delve into her experience working with an executive search firm like DRiWaterstone, and learn insight into the level of support and communication she received from the team. Additionally, she shares the significance of finding a genuine fit in today’s nonprofit job market, and what’s on the horizon for NACHC, among other key points. 

DRiWaterstone (DRiW): Can you tell me about the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and your new role there?  

Angelique Wilkins (AW): NACHC is the leading advocacy and training organization for Community Health Centers in the United States. NACHC promotes Community Health Centers as an accessible and equitable healthcare system, focused on providing affordable, high-quality, culturally competent, integrated primary care services to marginalized and underserved populations.  
 
My new role at NACHC is the Senior Vice President of Communications and Events, where I oversee the communications, marketing, media relations, and events functions, working to tell the story of NACHC to its various stakeholders. 

DRiW: What was your experience working with the DRiWaterstone team like as a candidate for the position?  

AW: Well, first I just want to say how much I appreciate the work that DRiWaterstone does. As a female person of color operating in the non-profit space, it was incredibly meaningful to work with a female-led company of this nature.  

Working with the DRiWaterstone team was a straightforward and transparent experience. The level of communication and support throughout the process was exceptional, and I felt very supported and valued as a candidate. There was a strong emphasis on mutual fit and understanding of the organization – it was evident DRiWaterstone was authentically invested in finding the right candidate for NACHC, and they acted as advocates throughout the placement process. 

DRiW: What surprised you the most about working with DRiWaterstone?  

AW: The constant and immediate communication and feedback. Unlike previous experiences with search firms, there was an elevated level of involvement and responsiveness at each stage of the process. The emphasis on communication and inclusion made me feel engaged and valued as a candidate. 

DRiWaterstone provided exceptional support throughout the entire placement process. I had a dedicated advocate, Taylor Rhodes, who was readily available for any questions or concerns I had. From initial interviews to negotiations and beyond, there was an exceptional level of assistance and communication. Having someone who acted as a partner in the process made a significant difference–truly appreciated. 

DRiW: How was your experience with DRiWaterstone different from other firms you may have worked with in the past?  

AW: The engagement with DRiWaterstone felt more like a partnership rather than a transaction. The emphasis on understanding NACHC’s unique needs, as evidenced by the heavily researched and finely curated questions presented during the interview process, demonstrated DRiWaterstone’s genuine investment in finding the right candidate for NACHC. The level of involvement and integration with the organization’s leadership team was deep, and it felt like they were a part of the NACHC team rather than just a consultant. 

DRiW: What advice do you have for a non-profit executive candidate in today’s job market?  

AW: My advice: follow your passion. It is crucial to find a position and organization that aligns with your values and mission. Conduct thorough due diligence and be sure to self-check your motivations to ensure you genuinely believe in the organization’s purpose. It pays off in the long run, as when you are passionate about the work you do, it becomes more fulfilling and enjoyable knowing you are making a real impact on the lives of others. 

DRiW: What is on the horizon for NACHC?  

AW: The future of NACHC is bright and quite promising! The organization aims to shed its status as a best-kept secret and become recognized as the leading force in the community-based public health space. NACHC will continue its impactful advocacy, policy, and training work, supporting its members and partners in serving millions of patients across the country. 

— 

At DRiWaterstone, we have the pleasure to work with some of the best clients and candidates in the non-profit and social impact space. To learn more about how we can help you build high performance teams and drive growth, email us – we’d love to talk! 

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By Jennifer Dunlap, President and CEO, DRiWaterstone Human Capital 

In the aftermath of the global pandemic, nonprofit and social impact organizations have undergone significant transformations in their efforts to meet the evolving needs of the communities they serve, as well as the expectations of current and potential employees. These changes have brought about a positive shift in the industry's operations. 

Here are four noteworthy trends that nonprofit and social impact leaders are likely to encounter in 2023: 

Emphasizing mission and purpose-driven candidates is key in hiring 

The foremost consideration in executive search recruiting for nonprofit and social impact organizations is the alignment of purpose and mission-driven candidates with the organization. Successful and impactful candidates are those who possess a genuine passion for the cause and a personal connection to the organization's primary work. By putting an emphasis on candidates who are intrinsically motivated to contribute to the mission, organizations can cultivate a highly effective workforce and workplace. 

The realization that adequate funding plays a big role in attracting top talent 

Funders are becoming much more attuned to the fact that in order to attract and retain top-tier executive talent who can further their mission, they need to pay them a competitive wage. By recognizing the importance of compensation, nonprofit and social impact organizations can effectively recruit talent of a high caliber and accomplish their mission-driven work. 

A strong focus on prioritizing and increasing diversity efforts 

Although diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) is not a new concept, nonprofit and social impact organizations are taking tangible action around diversity very seriously—and will continue to do so throughout 2023.  
 
Diversity does not stop at race and gender—it includes other factors such as age, geographic location, sexuality, religion, ability, and much more. Increasing these efforts is critical to making organizations stronger and providing well-rounded representation on leadership teams. Nonprofit and social impact sector recruiters should be asking themselves, “How can I improve my searches by focusing on diverse, talented candidates?” 

Implementing future-oriented recruitment strategies

Historically, nonprofit and social impact organizations have engaged in "just in time" hiring practices, filling vacant positions only when necessary. However, there is a notable shift occurring within the industry that is redefining recruitment strategies. Organizations are becoming much more strategic and structured in their approach to recruitment—by taking into consideration the future projections of the company and aligning talent acquisition practices with the long-term objectives of the organization, they can ensure they have the right candidates in place at the right time. 

By embracing these trends, organizations can enhance their capacity to make a positive and lasting impact on the communities they serve. 

Ready to Find Your Next Executive? DRiWaterstone Can Help!

With our proven record of placing top purpose and mission-driven leaders and our deep understanding of the nonprofit and social impact sector, we are committed to finding exceptional executive talent that align with your mission and who can grow your organization to new heights. 

Let us start the conversation—contact us today to talk to one of our dedicated team members. 

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