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Why Choose Us?

Our Approach

We take a holistic approach to our work, bringing an understanding of the whole organization, its culture and values, to each project. Leadership Search Partners (LSP) offers our clients depth of expertise in nonprofit governance and management combined with 30 years of recruiting experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors.

The hallmarks of our work are a deep commitment to personalized service, the proven ability to match organizational culture and leadership needs, not just skills and experience, and doing what it takes to ensure our clients do not settle for second best.

Our Competitive Advantages

Our Network of candidates and contacts has been developed over 20 years of consulting with hundreds of nonprofit organizations and leaders. Our reach is broad and deep.

Our Expertise was developed through on-the-ground experience in recruitment, human resources management, governance consulting, and leadership training in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. We combine depth of understanding of nonprofit organization management and governance with high level recruitment practices. We are "headhunters with heart."
Our Focus is high touch. We serve a small group of clients at any given time, with services tailored to each organization’s specific needs. We do not represent clients whose interests might conflict during the search process.

Our Expertise comes from on-the-ground experience in recruitment, human resources management, and nonprofit consulting and training. We combine depth of understanding of nonprofit organization management and governance with high-level recruitment practices.

Our Approach to executive search is relational, not transactional. When we enter into a contract with you, we do so because we believe in your mission and feel we can contribute to your success. We work in partnership with our clients, and strive to provide you with a trusted ally during the time covered by our agreement and beyond. We hope that you will think of us as a resource for the duration of our work together and into the future.

Our National Reach and experience. While we have a focus on the West, based on our clients’ needs we regularly conduct national searches looking across the United States for the best candidates to meet your organizations goals.

Our Values

Our values are core to the way Leadership Search Partners works with our clients and candidates. We understand that every contact we make on your behalf impacts your image with your peers and the public at large.

  • Accountability
    We are accountable to our clients and to candidates. We do what we say we are going to do. The integrity of our process relies on our accountability to keep candidate interest confidential. Candidate confidentiality must be respected at all times. Only at the appropriate stage in the search and with clear communication to the candidate, will any representative from the client or Leadership Search Partners (LSP) contact references, speak to colleagues, share candidate information, or otherwise jeopardize candidate confidentiality.
  • Transparency
    We keep in close contact with our clients throughout the search process and communicate clearly about our activities every step of the way. We believe in full disclosure to candidates, as appropriate to the stage of the process. We ask our clients to engage in full disclosure to LSP and candidates (with a level of disclosure appropriate to the stage in the search process). LSP or the Client will not mislead candidates and will not withhold information or provide deceptive information on the organization or its operations.
  • Kindness and Generosity
    Working on behalf of our clients, we make contact with many members of the community, and we strive to have each of these contacts be a positive experience. We treat all candidates, whether qualified or not, in a kind and responsive manner. We believe in being generous with our time and knowledge. While working with a client, we often provide advice and counsel on matters outside the scope of the search at no additional charge.
  • Respect
    All individuals are worthy of our attention and respect regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, culture, or background. LSP at all times projects professionalism and respect for diverse individuals in all of our activities, and we ask the same of our clients.

Our Process

​Four Phases

We conduct leadership searches with an executive transition model that breaks down our work into four phases. We believe that all are critical to ensuring that you not only recruit the right candidate to serve in a critical position for your organization, but that you retain this new leader for an appropriate span of years.

  • Phase One: Discovery and Planning
  • Phase Two: Sourcing and Recruitment
  • Phase Three: Guiding Client Interviews, Negotiating the Offer
  • Phase Four: New Hire Onboarding and Performance Evaluation Planning & Coaching

Phase One:  Discovery and Planning

A senior leadership change is a critical pivot point in the life of your organization. We begin our work with you by taking a deep dive into your mission, programs, business model, resource development strategies and your long-range plans. Through one-on-one confidential meetings, online surveys, staff meetings, interviews with key external partners and data review, we take the time necessary to get to know your organization, its strengths, its future opportunities and challenges, and the mandate for new leadership necessary to carry the organization’s work forward. 

We believe that a culture and values fit trumps experience. You can have a candidate with all the requisite skills and experience you believe the job requires, and still not make a good match if there is not a fit with your values and culture. We pay particular attention to the dynamics and strengths of your board and senior team, because a new leader’s skills should complement and strengthen the capabilities already present in your organization. 

Phase Two:  Sourcing and Recruitment

To identify qualified candidates, we don’t fish; we hunt. Chances are your ideal candidate is not in the job market. We understand that to provide you with a pool of highly qualified and motivated candidates, we must identify leaders who meet our criteria and discuss your opportunity with them in confidence. You want a pool of candidates who are excited by your specific opportunity and mission, and not primarily motivated by the fact that they need a job.

Our years of experience and extensive network allow us to efficiently and effectively identify and recruit individuals with the appropriate profile. Based on your search requirements and recruiting budget, our dedicated research team will build a customized list of passive candidates and sources whom we will contact to engage their interest. In addition, LSP will place ads and distribute the position specification to our network of over 15,000 individuals across the West and beyond. Ultimately, we will identify a pool of highly qualified candidates for you and your team to interview. For us, "qualified" means a match in values and culture, as well as in experience and skills.

Phase Three:  Guiding Interviews, Negotiating the Offer

While we are researching and recruiting candidates, we work with you to develop the interview process, including interview question templates and ranking tools as needed. We provide you with a written report for each candidate, providing an overview of the candidate’s strengths, a matrix comparing the candidate’s experience and skills to the job criteria, and references. 

Phase Four: New Hire Onboarding and Performance Evaluation Planning & Coaching

Research by leading foundations and universities has shown us that the first year of employment for a new nonprofit leader is critical to their long-term success in the role. Clear performance expectations and communications practices contribute significantly to a successful transition. We believe this is especially true for newly place CEO’s. That’s why we include new hire onboarding, performance evaluation planning and coaching with all of our CEO search projects.

At your request we can also provide this service as part of our search engagements for other newly placed professionals.

Orientation and Onboarding

The first few months of your new executive’s tenure are certainly a learning time, but they can also be leveraged to cement old friendships and make new ones for your organization. Donors, funders and community partners may want an opportunity to meet your new leadership hire, and we can help you think through how to best use this “honeymoon” period in support of your goals.  

We also work with you to develop an onboarding process for your new executivehires, including activities and tasks to be carried out prior to hire as well as on the first day, during the first week, first month and first ninety days of the new employee’s tenure.

Performance Management Planning

LSP will work with you and your new executive hire to develop a comprehensive performance plan for her/his first year of employment, including metrics for a six-month and annual review.

Our Focus Areas

​More information on each of our search practice areas is linked below:

Click here for other helpful print and web resources for nonprofits facing leadership transitions and vacancies.

Contact our Managing Director and Principal, Leyna Bernstein, at leyna@leadershipsearch.com or (510) 542-2922.