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Ep 16 - Finding Your People

“I wouldn't say it's unheard of, but it was not common for nonprofit organizations to retain a search firm. It was seen as very expensive and something only big corporations do. Now, we have seen that the sectors realize they can't afford not to work with a professional search firm because talent acquisition is one of the most important things outside fundraising. It is the second most important source of lifeblood for the organization.” -Trevor Blair

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Trevor Blair, the founder of Blair Search Partners, joins May L. Harris, Esq., MA today on the Nonprofit Counsel podcast to discuss how to find the right people to help your nonprofit grow. Are all your preparations in order before commencing the hiring process? Where do you source your candidates from? How is your hiring process structured? Do candidates feel appreciated throughout the process, even if they're not selected? What organizational culture are you asking potential hires to leave their current positions for? Trevor answers these questions and others on today's episode.


[1:17] Trevor does executive searches, recruiting and workforce development for nonprofits
[4:48] Trevor explains why nonprofits should consider hiring a search firm and what the costs are if they hire the wrong person
[9:07] Trevor discusses the first 90 days of a new employee’s tenure and what to do if an employee doesn’t work out
[13:50] Discussion of the legal steps that should take place before recruitment takes place and the difference between running ads and recruiting
[17:57] Discussion of office culture and the intangibles that are important to employees and the issues of having some employees work in the office and some who work remotely
[31:04] Trevor explains the human-centered design principles of hiring and managing a team


  • In the past, nonprofit organizations thought they couldn't justify the expense of hiring a recruitment firm. However, they now understand the importance of doing so to secure the skilled employees necessary for their operations.
  • Recruiting employees differs from simply advertising a job position.
  • The most beneficial environment for new hires involves the opportunity for mentorship through regular face-to-face interactions with their manager. Additionally, having autonomy over their schedule is also crucial.