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You are well aware of the importance of making the right hiring decisions. The wrong one at the senior level can have far-reaching implications and cause profound pain to your bottom line, staff morale, productivity, and your corporate image.

About Role Structure

Role structure in hiring refers to the people involved in your search and the specific roles they play. Developing an appropriate structure for each search helps ensure that your hires are made in accordance with the needs, values and capacities of your business.

To establish the right role structure, decide up front who will:

  • Manage the overall process.
  • Write job descriptions and posting. A related task is ensuring that postings are widely distributed to your organization’s networks and connections.
  • Conduct screenings and interviews.
  • Communicate with candidates. This needs to happen regularly at every stage of your hiring process including prompt notification of regrets.
  • Be involved in making final selection decisions.
  • Make and negotiate job offers.
  • Onboard, orient and manage your new hire.

Generally, those involved include internal hiring managers, HR representatives, and possibly board members, funders and other external stakeholders.

Your ultimate determination of who is involved depends on a number of criteria:

  • Seniority of the position: The higher the level of the position, the more senior people need to be involved. For a CEO or executive director, it may be appropriate to engage a search committee involving governing board members and related stakeholders.
  • The style and values of your organization: Is your company highly collaborative or are decisions made by a select few? If the former is true, it’s probably important to consider more staff input regardless of the level of the role.
  • Availability: Consider the availability of each person you are thinking of involving in your process. Make sure your search can progress effectively and efficiently at every stage.

Never a Solo Effort

Your goal is to hire the person who is the best fit for the job and the specific work environment. It is up to you and your senior team to define the professional profile that you will require.

Involve others. Broad input from key stakeholders is critical as you guarantee broad-based support before tapping anyone for a leadership position. Reach out to your network contacts and see who they know. Glean their insights on what has worked for them in their past hiring processes. Options may include:

  • A single hiring manager: This assigns virtually all search and recruitment responsibilities to one decision maker. It is more common in smaller or more resource-constrained organizations. This hiring manager generally needs to carve out one or two hours a day over two to three months for search-related tasks. Be sure this is a realistic commitment. It can be an efficient strategy as one person does not need to build a consensus decision. On the downside, it lacks diversity of perspective.
  • A hiring manager with HR support: This model compensates for the disadvantages of a single manager search approach. It makes for an organized professional process, although it may be more bureaucratic. HR can provide tools and advisory support, manager recruitment logistics and have input into final decisions and negotiations.
  • A board-driven search committee: This structure typically involves five to eight people and can include various stakeholders such as managers, staff, board members and funders. It provides more distributed engagement in the process and more people to shoulder the work. It may become unwieldy to coordinate or to bring a diverse group to a consensus. If you take this approach, be sure to clearly define each individual’s role and set decision-making parameters at the onset.

What’s your best plan for ensuring that the right people make your most important hiring decisions? An executive search consultant can help you create and implement the strategy that consistently seals the deal for your company. Contact the team at BrainWorks today to learn more.


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