By Patricia St. Onge, Seven Generations Consulting and Coaching
I was pleased to be asked to share some thoughts about hiring staff in small foundations. I have served as interim director to more than a dozen organizations and foundations where I have facilitated the process of hiring new leadership. I would like to share a few tools I use when supporting the process of hiring.
The most important element of the search is to find a person who is the right fit for your foundation at its particular moment in history. I take board members and staff through a process of identifying the developmental stage at which they find themselves at their foundation. We then imagine where we want to be in the next three-to-five years and what kind of leadership we need to facilitate our growth as we imagine it. We consider both specific hard skills, such as knowledge about how to make Program Related Investments, and also personality and leadership characteristics. We use that information to write a job description.
To help ensure the best fit for a new employee, I use the medicine wheel, an indigenous model for determining complementary work styles. This provides insight into different working or leadership styles associated with each of the four directions – visionary, nurturer, warrior, or critical thinker. Continue reading