Our Process

Why Choose LLLS as Your Search Partner?

Nonprofit executive search is the LLLS focus. The breadth and depth of our experience makes us better qualified than other search firms to recruit the profession’s best talent. Our many repeat clients support that belief.

Our know-how and network work to place nonprofit leaders and their teams. Our Best Practice techniques guarantee success.

Because the right person in the right job makes all the difference.

The LLLS philosophy since our founding in 1997.

How is the LLLS Process Different?

Communication that’s clear and consistent

All LLLS Search Consultants are recruited based on nonprofit experience. So they know what questions to ask and what answers to listen for. We’re great communicators with clients as well with regular updates by the Search Consultant on the status of the search.

Collaboration on every Search

Clients benefit from the support of all Search Consultants, who share recruitment strategies and candidate suggestions. There are few degrees of separation between LLLS and the people clients want to meet with our collective group input.

Commission-free culture brings out the best

Our Search Consultants are salary – not commission – based. Searches are conducted by the same highly qualified Search Consultant from start to finish – never by junior staff, and always, with the time and attention needed to carefully vet candidates.

One Search Consultant, the Power of a Team.

Our collaborative model is unique among search firms.
Step one

Research and Strategy, Weeks 1-3

At the start of your search, your Search Consultant interviews key stakeholders to gain insight into the history and culture of your organization and the most important aspects and nuances of the position. Each person is asked to describe the ideal candidate and expectations of the new hire, to ensure organizational alignment.

LLLS and your hiring manager or Search Committee representative also review the proposed timeline and agree on a recurring time for updates. Early on, dates are set for your Resume Review and later interview rounds to ensure search momentum for you and for potential candidates in a demanding market.

Next, LLLS creates a comprehensive prospectus that includes the position description and highlights of organizational culture, structure, history, and ambition. This prospectus is a primary sales tool used to recruit qualified candidates. Your research and outreach strategy then kicks off with the identification of benchmark, peer and aspirational institutions and high-potential recruitment channels, as we develop our list of 100+ potential candidates and resources. LLLS prepares a marketing and advertising strategy exclusive to your search.

Fast, spot-on results.

Our methodical and systematic Best Practices insure that clients meet candidates on schedule.
Step two

Market Launch and Outreach, Weeks 4-8

Your search is promoted across a range of digital and social channels, on the LLLS website, in appropriate professional networks and conferences, and in advertising venues presented by your Search Consultant and finalized by you. Each search is marketed in energizing communications that go to the large LLLS database and network, complemented by individual emails sent to targeted lists chosen by you and your Search Consultant. Above all, your Search Consultant’s personal, strategic outreach to resources and candidates is paramount to identify, inform and attract the most promising candidates.

Leading candidates are identified through rigorous interviews designed to evaluate how well interviewees fit with position and skill requirements. At a strategic point in the process, Search Consultants meet candidates, either in person or through video conferencing, for a deeper, detailed interview and vetting. A password-protected, web-based portal for sharing candidate information is created to ensure confidentiality.


Step three

Resume Review and Candidate Selection, Weeks 9-11

Your regular calls with your Search Consultant keep you connected and aligned throughout the search. Once a cohort of qualified candidates is identified through outreach and interviews, your hiring manager or Search Committee meets with the LLLS Search Consultant for Resume Review. After discussing the pros and cons of each candidate, you determine who will participate in a first round of on-site interviews with you. A “Client Interview Toolkit” will be shared with the hiring manager or Search Committee representative, which includes complete lists of interview questions by function, as well as customized evaluation forms. LLLS shares leading practices for your interview process and helps you design a productive interview, visit, recruitment and selection strategy.

Our placements stay in place.

Tracking shows that most of our hires stay in their positions well beyond two years.
Step four

Client Interview and Final Stages, Weeks 11+

The hiring manager and/or Search Committee meets candidates in Weeks 11-12. In advance, all interviewers receive a package for each candidate containing a resume and a personal statement. Following this first round of interviews, most clients bring finalists back for a comprehensive second or final round of interviews to inform the hiring decision.

LLLS conducts education verifications for all finalists, arranges additional background checks upon request, and provides in-depth written references for final candidates to give you a 360-degree view. Your Search Consultant continues to support you through all stages of the offer and negotiation, to ensure a successful placement.


100% Guaranteed.

Ready to find your next great hire?

Whether you’re looking to hire a leader, build out a team, reorganize a department or take that next career step, we’re here to help.