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    Are you part of a CEO Search Committee dealing with tough questions?  We’re posting questions we have received and recommendations we have made based on our experience advising a wide variety of associations and foundations. Email your questions to us – we’ll put our heads together for you and offer suggestions. 

    “As a Past President of a national trade association, I have been asked to serve on the Search Committee to replace our long tenured chief staff executive. Wondered if Tryon & Heideman would have any “words of wisdom” for Search Committees?”

    Several!  The work ahead for your Committee includes reaching consensus on both the hire decision and the overall process for the search. Here are 3 discussions we would recommend the Committee have at the beginning of the process for a more consistent, transparent and timely search.

    • Clarify the charge of the Search Committee—–Can the Search Committee make the offer with approval from the Board? Or does the Board want to interview 2 finalists selected by the Search Committee and make the final decision? Who determines compensation?
    • Reach consensus on the criteria for the position—–Each Committee member needs to buy in on the requirements for the position. Hash it out up front—without that consensus, decision making later on will be painful!
    • Determine what the roles of current staff will be and what role, if any based on circumstances, the current chief staff executive will play during the search. Finalist candidates want to meet the current chief staff executive and, frankly, no one can offer more insight to the position than the incumbent. At the same time, it is only fair to emphasize throughout the search process that your trade association’s volunteer leadership will determine criteria and ultimately make the hire decision.