Our executive search firm helps nonprofits and social impact organizations build high-performance teams.

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Executive Search Process

What to Expect

DRiWaterstone can begin leading at any point in an executive search. Our clients may still be deciding how to divide responsibilities across new positions or they may be rethinking search strategy after a few weeks of advertising. No matter where you are in the process, our goal is the same: to align hiring with every element of our clients’ culture and strategic plans. From the way we market your organization in our search materials to the impression we create among candidates who are not hired, everything we do advances this goal.

And because every DRiWaterstone search is directed by one of our senior leaders and staffed with a team of marketing, communications, and human resources specialists, we are able to apply an unparalleled expertise and meticulousness to achieve it.

  1. Align Search Strategy with Growth Strategy
    Non-profits and social impact organizations aren’t two-dimensional puzzles into which prospective hires can be slotted like intricate cardboard pieces. Our clients are dynamic engines of change, and every hire will transform the dynamic and catalyze new possibilities. DRiWaterstone brings a uniquely comprehensive skill set to understanding that dynamism and to measuring the kind of energy candidates will bring to it. Maybe you need a chief executive who can reimagine the business model for an entire sector. Maybe it’s more important to find someone who knows how to work with a founding chief executive. Perhaps you need to diversify your fundraising program and need a firm who will design a solution specific to your needs, strengths, and market.

    Our clients count on us not only to understand the dynamics of their unique positions but also to give frank guidance about what kinds of people will advance them—even when that advice does not match standard cookie-cutter approaches. Our leaders work with stakeholders across every level of an organization to build understanding and consensus for the highest priorities in each hire and to help set the stage for the selected candidate and her new workplace to do great things together.
  2. Prioritize Recruitment and Reputation
    DRiWaterstone has one of the largest networks of non-profit and social impact leaders and staff among national executive search firms—and the largest single network of fundraisers, who are in exceptionally high demand in the sector. We know the professional associations that high-quality candidates belong to; we know the conferences they attend; we know who’s looking for new opportunities and who is receptive to hearing about them.

    Just as importantly, we know how to treat candidates when we find them. DRiWaterstone leaders have done the jobs for which we recruit: we have written strategic plans, run operations, and built integrated marketing and fundraising programs. We know how to find out whether a candidate can work at our own high standards. We also know how to steward candidates through what can be a long or challenging screening process. Our clients depend on us to build candidates’ interest, keep their attention, and address their needs in a way that few organizations have the resources to do. Our work ensures that the ultimate placed candidate enters a new position with only positive feelings—and that every other candidate walks away from the search with positive things to say, as well.
  3. Guide, Streamline, and Troubleshoot until the Search is Closed
    The interview process is a delicate period when clients and candidates are both interviewing each other. DRiWaterstone stays deeply involved in this process, making sure our clients get the information they need and that they begin their relationship with their finalist on the strongest possible footing.

    DRiWaterstone is prepared to facilitate every element of interview preparation and evaluation. Our clients don’t have to juggle candidates’ schedules; they don’t have to prepare interview questions; and because of our careful candidate presentation, they don’t have to comb through a candidate’s record looking for salient details. Our leaders—who have conducted hundreds of interviews and facilitated hundreds of hiring decisions—are available to join interviews or post-interview deliberations. And when a decision is made, we are available to be an honest broker in negotiating an employment agreement that will launch client and candidate alike past the end of the search and into the beginning of a new chapter of your nonprofit’s history.