Case Studies

Mitch Corlett

Recent Posts

Professional Services Firm with a Declining Reputation

Posted by Mitch Corlett on June 10, 2015

The Situation

Our client is a professional services firm in a niche market. Many of the employees working in their field know the reputations of the major employers. In fact, it's not uncommon for employees to work for several different firms during their career, or even to transition back and forth between roles as clients and vendors.

Our client was an early innovator in their field, bringing a new level of professionalism to what had formerly been a “mom & pop” kind of business. Our client was justifiably proud of their high standards, and their clients were thrilled. But when they contacted us, our client's recruiting efforts had come to a virtual standstill. They were unclear why their recruiting efforts had become so difficult.

The situation was so dire that our client was forced to stop selling new work.

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Resolving a Systemic Salary Issue for a Trade Association

Posted by Mitch Corlett on June 10, 2015

The Situation

Coming out of the recession, our trade association client was rapidly expanding. Market research helped us quickly identify candidates to fill a variety of positions. Yet regardless of the position level or functional area, we found that the most qualified candidates were consistently earning a total compensation package our client could not match.

Because salary budgets had already been approved, hiring managers across the organization had a dilemma. They could settle for hiring the less qualified candidates they could afford. Or they could try to get approval to go over budget, so that they could make competitive job offers to the top performers who could achieve the desired business outcomes. (In our experience, it's rare for managers to challenge “hard” budget limitations. Instead, managers quietly accept their salary targets, and, unsurprisingly, their less qualified new hires often fail to achieve their goals.)

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Re-Envisioning a Senior Executive Role

Posted by Mitch Corlett on June 10, 2015

The Situation

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.

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Realigning Development Staff in a Nonprofit

Posted by Mitch Corlett on June 10, 2015

The Situation

Our client, a national nonprofit, planned to double revenue from fundraising over the next several years. The rapid expansion of the development team led to “growing pains” and management challenges. As a result, payroll costs were growing faster than revenue. Staffing Advisors was invited to review the structure of the development team, and recommend a solution that would accelerate fundraising growth and build department capacity while minimizing payroll costs.

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Reducing Risk in Nonprofit Executive Hiring

Posted by Mitch Corlett on June 9, 2015

The Situation

The Board of a nonprofit client came to us for a particularly challenging and critically important hire. In several previous searches, the organization had experienced mixed results working with the executive search firms who specialized in their programmatic area (we did not).

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Leading Cultural Change in an Association

Posted by Mitch Corlett on June 9, 2015

The Situation

Our client, an association executive, valued inclusiveness. The executive felt it was important to include the opinions of senior staff in key hiring decisions. Unfortunately, some senior staff members were not skilled interviewers, and tended to veto the hire of anyone who might bring change, raise standards or threaten their turfHiring decisions languished, and the executive’s cherished new initiatives were stalled.

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Revamping Hiring for a Professional Services Firm

Posted by Mitch Corlett on June 4, 2015

The Situation

Our client is a fast-growing professional services firm with an award-winning work environment and strong company culture. Long before they engaged us, our client was using a rigorous hiring process that helped them winnow down the candidates they received from job advertising. Their home-grown hiring process was quite effective at helping them save time interviewing, and had a fairly good track record at predicting who would fit in with the unique company culture.

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