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Ep 16 - Unlocking Talent: Navigating the Nonprofit Hiring Process with Trevor Blair

In the latest episode, Trevor Blair, Founder and CEO of Blair Search Partners, explores how to find the right people for your organization in the nonprofit sector.

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In this episode of The Nonprofit Counsel Podcast, host May Harris, Esq., MA, sits down with Trevor Blair, Founder and CEO of Blair Search Partners, to explore how to find the right people for your organization in the nonprofit sector.

Blair Search Partners

Trevor Blair's involvement in the nonprofit sector is marked by his commitment to providing high-level executive recruiting experiences tailored specifically for nonprofits. Through Blair Search Partners, based in San Diego, California, Trevor aims to offer the same level of service enjoyed by Fortune 500 companies to nonprofit organizations of all shapes and sizes across the USA. His expertise extends beyond just C-suite positions, assisting nonprofits in finding talent for any role they may need to fill.

Why Pay for a Recruiting Firm?

One of the key points emphasized in the discussion is the value proposition of hiring a specialized recruiting firm like Blair Search Partners. A large reason nonprofits back away from hiring assistance like this, is the price tag. Obviously, nonprofits aren’t typically swimming in spare funds to use. However, while the cost may seem significant upfront, the potential costs of making a bad hire far outweigh the investment in professional recruitment services. The process of finding, interviewing, hiring, onboarding, and potentially offboarding a bad hire can be a drain on resources and time. Finding the right talent the first time can save your organization thousands of dollars. Trevor also stresses the importance of making decisive choices regarding underperforming employees within a reasonable timeframe to minimize the impact on the organization, allowing you to search for someone who can fill the role better.

We’ve Onboarded This New Hire… What Next?

Once the dry, administrative aspects of onboarding are handled, May and Trevor delve into the importance of fostering a positive organizational culture to retain top talent. Mentorship, flexibility, and autonomy are highlighted as key factors that contribute to employee satisfaction and retention, especially in a post-covid world.

Trevor emphasizes the significance of creating an inclusive and equitable workplace environment where employees feel valued and empowered to thrive. If your organization does not prioritize positive culture, ensure employee satisfaction, and listen to internal suggestions, you could lose your best hires.

Human-Centered Design Principles

The conversation concludes with a focus on human-centered design principles in the hiring process. Trevor and May advocate for streamlining recruitment processes to prioritize the candidate experience and foster genuine connections between employers and potential hires. The average hiring process could include cover letters and assessments and multiple interviews, but this is becoming outdated. Many candidates will be discouraged or lose interest in the strenuous and drawn out hiring process, causing you to lose top talent. By humanizing the hiring process and valuing the individual experiences of candidates, organizations can attract and retain diverse talent pools.


In summary, finding your people in the nonprofit sector involves more than just filling positions—it's about building meaningful relationships, fostering a positive work environment, and prioritizing the needs of both the organization and its employees. Through strategic recruitment practices and a commitment to human-centered design, nonprofits can position themselves for long-term success in achieving their missions.

Subscribe to the Nonprofit Counsel Podcast today to stay on top of the latest insights and strategies about improving your nonprofit organization’s financial wellness and reinforcing long-term success and impact. For even more updates and valuable content, be sure to follow Nonprofit Counsel on LinkedIn and Instagram.