Executive Search & Transition

Few events in the life of an organization will raise the stakes—and the stress levels—as high as a transition in senior leadership. Finding the right fit and successfully integrating this key person into the institutional fabric pose complex and significant challenges.  That is why we pioneered a systematic, collaborative approach to defining the realities of the position, the specific culture of the organization, and key factors for success—all allowing us to identify ideal candidates. ASI’s deep roots in association and nonprofit recruiting and our extensive list of contacts throughout the community—developed over more than two decades—set our boutique firm apart.  Outreach to a truly diverse talent pool combined with a highly personal approach to working with our clients is the hallmark of the ASI recruiting strategy.  New hire placements have a “stick rate” of more than seven years, and 85% of our business is from referred or repeat clients. Our talented team of seven, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, with an affiliated firm in Chicago, all have experience working in nonprofit organizations and understand the special challenges facing associations and nonprofits.  ASI’s time-tested and professional approach includes three phases:  organizational assessment, outreach and screening, and transition management.  At every step, we engage the search committee, and also tap the knowledge of staff leaders and stakeholders, to draw on a broad mix of expertise and institutional knowledge. Once you select your new executive, we engage you in a conversation that identifies parameters for success and strategies for effective onboarding of the new executive into the organization.  As former association executives, we understand that search is an evolutionary process, not a single event or transaction, and over the last two decades, we have applied this philosophy to the most critical search situations.

Organizational Assessment

Evaluating and replacing a visible leadership position within any organization provides an important opportunity to take stock—both in the current scope of the position, as well as measures of success for the future.  Any successful candidate will need to be a solid fit with the organization’s culture—with the ability to work in concert with members, key partners and leaders as well as the staff.  For this reason, ASI takes special steps to assess the position, the culture, and the operating environment once our team is hired.  Key information and survey data, combined with meetings with staff, search committee leaders as well as board members provide the backdrop for the creation of a comprehensive position profile.  The profile will paint a clear picture of the organization’s opportunities and challenges, culture, key relationships, programs and measures of success.  It will also describe the essential background qualifications and behavioral characteristics considered ideal in potential candidates.  Finally, it will serve as a roadmap and foundation for interviewing and transition planning over the course of the search.

Search and Screen

Drawing from hundreds of searches completed over more than two decades, our extensive outreach effort begins with our comprehensive database and rich network of potential candidates.  Through this highly personal yet data driven approach, we develop a list of key sources who receive personal contact.  Social media, outreach through proprietary databases and some advertising round out the process. We screen, assess and evaluate candidates through phone and in-person interviews to narrow down the talent pool and present multiple qualified candidates to the search committee.  Background and verification checks are also completed at this stage.

Transition Management

Any candidate’s success is achieved when a true partnership is established among a new executive, board leaders, and staff.  To that end, we work to successfully integrate and transition the new CEO or senior leader into the organization.  This often involves identifying expectations in the form of key issues to address immediately, developing first-year goals and objectives, providing consultation on the performance evaluation process, and targeting key leaders and others as priority contacts.  The transition plan is intended to establish accountability and ownership of organizational outcomes for both the organization and the new CEO.