Our client is a high profile nonprofit organization. After the departure of a long-term senior programs executive, the organization intentionally left the position vacant, in the hopes that one of the position's direct reports would take the initiative and step up into more of a leadership role. For a time, this approach appeared to be working. Most of the leader's key tasks were absorbed by various staff members. But without a strong leader in place, the organization eventually lost their unified strategic direction, results drifted, and program growth stalled.
Because the position was unique, and because a veteran executive had held the position for so long, there was no obvious path toward finding a successor. Our client lacked perspective on their options — they were not sure what title to give the position, who might be interested, what salary would be required to attract the right person, or even how to determine if potential candidates were qualified. There was no basis for easy comparison.
Prior to engaging us, the organization advertised the open position, but as the resumes arrived, the hiring manager had no way of knowing whether the respondents were the best people available.
Our client invited us to provide some perspective.