Hiring the Perfect Executive Director [Podcast]

Jul. 9, 2018

Natascha Guerrero

Hiring the Perfect Executive Director



Dara Klarfeld, DRG Search’s CEO, was recently a guest at NonProfits are Messy, the podcast by nonprofit consultant genius Joan Garry. This 62nd episode is aptly titled “Hiring the Perfect Executive Director”. In it, Dara and Joan discuss the retiring baby-boomer generation – a trending topic in the nonprofit recruitment industry- and how it affects the nonprofit industry, how the role of Executive Director has changed over time and the role’s new requirements.

Listen to the podcast here 

Episode Intro [From JoanGarry.com]

Baby boomer Executive Directors are retiring, and in a sector where overhead is a 4-letter word, few nonprofits choose to spend on sophisticated HR departments or for serious professional development.

When it comes to developing a leadership pipeline, some of the most common questions I get are:

  • What are board search committees looking for in an Executive Director?
  • As a board, what should we be looking for?
  • This is my dream job… What do I do to give it my best shot?

Today, with the help of my special guest Dara Klarfeld, we tackle these questions from points of view of both the ED and board. We discuss how an organization can set itself up to make a great Executive Director hire, as well as the secret sauce to becoming a rockstar candidate.

In this episode [From JoanGarry.com]

  • The work an organization must do before even beginning an E.D. search
  • Who precisely should be on the search committee (and who should not)?
  • The key ingredients for a successful search
  • The common elements of great Executive Directors
  • How do you identify a “unicorn”?
  • Advice for candidates about how to approach the interview process and avoid mistakes
  • What milestones do you need to manage this process?
  • What information should be kept confidential?
  • What if you can’t afford a search firm like DRG?
Listen to the podcast here 

About Joan Garry: Joan Garry is a nonprofit consultant with a practice focusing on crisis management, executive coaching, and building strong board and staff leadership teams. She is also a professor at the Annenberg School for Communications at UPenn.