Executive Search and Recruitment

Leadership Transition Management - Are you prepared?

  • What if your nonprofit organization’s founder announced her/his retirement?

  • What if your Executive Director announced s/he had a new opportunity, and resigned with only two weeks’ or less notice?

  • What if your Executive Director requested extended time off to care for an aging family member in another state?


How would your organization be impacted?

These are scenarios that occur every day in Chicago area nonprofit organizations, and cause concern for Boards and staffs.  Fortunately, ESC has solutions to address these and other issues related to leadership transitions. Our solutions ensure stability and assist with positive outcomes when there is a leadership change.

Facilitated Executive Director Search

Often Board members think the only solution to finding a new Executive Director is through a search firm. Search firms fees are prohibitively expensive for all but the largest nonprofit organizations. ESC has deep expertise in working with a Board of Directors in conducting a search at a fraction of the cost.


The benefits of using ESC for your Search are:

  • Our consultants understand that transitions are challenging. We are skilled in working with Board members and staff to guide them positively through the change process.

  • We help an organization to view the change as an opportunity to find a new leader who can meet not only the current needs of the organization, but help guide the organization to an improved future version.

  • We use the same process as executive search firms, at a greatly reduced fee


The facilitated search process takes between 4-6 months. ESC consultants will help create a position description, post the opportunity on nonprofit websites, review applications, complete telephone screens and prepare the Board search committee to review finalist candidates.

Once a new Executive Director is selected, ESC can work with the Board to develop a first year performance plan. Many of our nonprofit clients also take advantage of ESC's Executive Coaching services to support the new ED during her/his first six months in the new position.

Interim Executive Director Services

Often, ESC will recommend an organization hire an Interim Executive Director when there is a temporary leadership gap. An Interim Executive Director is appropriate when the organization has:

  • An unanticipated departure of the Executive Director

  • The departure of a founding or long-time leader

  • No identified or prepared successor

  • A desire for stability and guidance while the Board directs attention to finding the right new Executive Director


The benefits of hiring an Interim Executive Director are:

  • Provide steady, unifying, effective leadership during a transition – ESC IEDs are nonprofit leaders with extensive experience in nonprofit management. ESC carefully screens and provides training to prepare Interim EDs for potential challenges.

  • Ensure appropriate time to select the right new Executive Director-Searching for the right new leader takes time. An Interim ED helps to ensure uninterrupted workflow of the organization and staff management

  • Gain fresh perspective and experienced leadership-An ESC Interim ED offers your organization an unbiased view and brings expertise in problem solving. An Interim ED helps ensure that the staff and Board are prepared for new permanent leadership.


Please contact ESC to learn more detail about how to meet your organization’s Leadership Transition needs!

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