Executive Transition and Search

Our comprehensive approach will clarify your organization’s needs, create a collaborative and transparent search process, identify exceptional candidates, and support a successful transition.

Why has Fio added search services?

Fio’s search services have grown out of our trusted client relationships. We have helped more than 500 social sector organizations navigate pivotal organizational planning, structural, governance, and change processes – and an increasing number of these clients have asked if we would support their executive transition and search processes. After successfully piloting our approach with a few organizations, we are excited to formalize and expand this offering.

But what’s our real why? We know that executive transitions are both promising and vulnerable times. We want to help our clients use the search as a strategic opportunity to advance their mission while protecting their sustainability and key relationships during these transitions.

What can you expect from Fio’s Executive Transition and Search Services?

Broadly, our process includes:

  • Establishing a committee and thoughtful process with clear action steps, roles, and timelines.
  • Gathering internal and external insights to help the board assess how the organization’s priorities should inform the skills and attributes of its new executive director.
  • Identifying any critical organizational issues to address (e.g. finances, staffing, infrastructure) and documenting key relationships to transition.
  • Guiding the development of an optimized position description and organizational profile.
  • Determining the appropriate compensation range based on relevant nonprofit benchmark data.
  • Identifying relevant options for ad placement and associated costs.
  • Developing candidate screening criteria, rating sheets, and behavioral interview questions.
  • Recruiting and developing a talent pool and screening candidates
  • Supporting the search committee throughout the interviews and decision-making process.
  • Creating an onboarding process and performance evaluation plan for the new executive.

A Closer Look at the Process Phases

Throughout this section, “Core Resources” are activities or services included in Fio’s standard approach and pricing. Additional resources can be incorporated upon your request. We will work together to ensure that your final scope of services best meets your learning, engagement, timeline, and budgetary needs.

Assess & Listen

An executive transition is a critical time to consider how your organization’s priorities and strategic direction should inform the skills and attributes of its next leader. Together, we will:

  • Assess the organization’s health and capacity. The breadth and depth of this process depend on the age of the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Listen to clarify the organization’s strategic direction and future leader’s key attributes.

Core Resources include: Basic Organizational Assessment, Board Input, Senior Staff Input

If the search timeframe and budget permit, additional engagement and information-gathering activities like focus groups, key staff or stakeholder interviews, staff climate and input survey, financial health indicators analysis,or a board and senior staff retreat can be added to the scope of work.

Executive Transition Support

A successful executive transition involves more than the search. A leadership change can affect key relationships, staff morale, and operational stability—Therefore, they should be carefully assessed and attended to during this time.

Throughout the process, Fio Partners will work with outgoing or interim leadership to support organizational stability and the successful onboarding of new leadership. How much support is needed will be unique to each organization’s situation and resources, but Fio can:

  • Engage outgoing leadership in planned transitions.
  • Assist with Interim placement in unplanned departures.
  • Strategize and help craft transition communications.

Core Resources include: Relationship Mapping, Onboarding Guide, Briefing Book for the New Executive

Defining Process & Position Profile

We’ll also ensure the search committee is constituted and prepared to proceed effectively. Fio will help you:

  • Assemble a Search Committee that reflects the diversity of the organization’s broader community.
  • Define the role, position description, organizational profile, and appropriate salary range.

Core Resources include: Search Facilitation, Position Profile, Salary Benchmarks

Promote, Research, Recruit & Screen

Fio uses “push and pull” strategies to ensure your position reaches candidates that meet your criteria. Fio will:

  • Post the position widely and on targeted job sites to attract a diverse candidate pool.
  • Identify prospective candidates ideal for recruitment through research strategy, market mapping, and professional recruiting software that identifies active and passive candidates.
  • Call upon our expansive network, developed since 2007, for prospective candidates and thought partners.
  • Screen, assess, and engage top qualifying candidates.

Core Resources include: Job Posting, Market Mapping, Professional Recruiting, Candidate Screening and Initial Assessment


As screened candidates meet with the search committee, Fio will provide support every step of the way. Fio will:

  • Support fluid scheduling and productive committee meetings.
  • Ensure the agreed-upon fair, transparent, and inclusive process is implemented.
  • Develop a custom scorecard to standardize the assessment of candidates and minimize bias.
  • Prepare behavioral interview questions that are aligned with the attributes to assess.
  • Serve as a source of advice throughout the interview, finalist presentation, and selection process.

Core Resources include: Candidate Reports, Interview Materials, Search Committee Support