A Headhunter’s Dirty Little Secret No. 1 – Poaching Candidates

Want to know a recruiter’s secret about luring top-notch executive talent from other organizations?


Believe it or not, the Fall season is one of the most ideal times to hire executive talent for a charitable, non-profit, or social-profit organization.

Why is this the best time of year to hire? Consider the following:

  • Those who come to the realization they are ready for a career transition often do so once they return to work and daily routines after a leisurely summer vacation.
  • In many people’s minds, the start of the New Year is a logical time to start a new job.
  • The Fall season initiates the beginning of networking events and seasonal parties when natural interaction among professionals occur, making it a great time for people to organically talk about and promote an opportunity at your organization among their respective networks.
  • There is a natural breaking point in this sector around the Christmas and New Year holidays, thereby making it a great time for executives to resign and take a week or two off before starting a new role.
  • It is easier for executives to disengage from their present charitable organizations at the start of the New Year because most of the high-volume fundraising work is over after the Christmas season.

With this in mind, during this season when your executive recruiter goes tapping your favourite executives from other organizations on the shoulder on your behalf about a career move, you may find there is an overwhelming allure to a leadership role within your organization.

Problem is, many leaders in the charitable, non-profit, and social-profit sectors fail to maximize this time of year. Instead of attempting to secure talent and solidify a strong leadership team in the months leading up to the New Year, organizations focus on the panic and immediacy of end-of-year fundraising.

As a result, most searches for executive talent are pushed off until the start of the New Year, when your most desirable executive candidates have already secured roles elsewhere.

But don’t just take our word for it. Consider the data released by Executives Online in July of 2014, which affirms that January is:

third from the bottom of the twelve months in terms of new jobs. What makes January even less advantageous to the job-seeker is the New Year’s resolution effect: Candidate registrations surge in January, which may make it harder for yours to stand out. The ratio of new candidates to new jobs – a figure we’ll call the Search Competition Index or SCI – is highest in January of any month, by a considerable margin (24% higher than the next month). Too much noise in the market also makes the employers’ and recruiters’ task of selecting the right people for shortlist and hire more difficult. It may be better, when hiring, to wait for a calmer month. (Beitel, 2014, para. 3)

If you really want to be a charitable, non-profit, or social-profit organization that is truly set apart from others in the sector, why not start by growing and strengthening your executive leadership team when no one else is doing the same.


Beitel, Anne. (2014, July 31). Data reveal best time of year to hire, find a job. Retrieved from: http://www.executivesonline.fr/en/blog/2014/07/31/data-reveal-


Recruiting for a Change: SocialHeadhunter.com

You never need a recruiter until it’s too late.

As a candidate, you never need a recruiter until you’ve lost your job, been fired, or resigned. And then, at that point, you’re not the ideal candidate no matter your experience because you’re an active job-seeker rather than passive. It’s always easier to place someone who has a job than one who is without a job.

On the other hand, as an organization you never need a recruiter until your President, CFO, or VP of Philanthropy resigns and you’re left trying to fill a gap in the interim while completing a search process and burning out your remaining staff in the meantime.

In the spirit of our newest blog series “Recruiting for a Change”, it seems that recruiters need to make more time for you now – when you don’t need them and they don’t need you. Read more

Leave A Legacy, Not a Mess: Learning from Mistakes

There’s a lot you can learn from the legacy that others leave upon their transition.

Similarly, there’s a lot you can learn from the mess that others leave behind in their abandonment as well.

The strongest leaders are those who learn from the mistakes of those who’ve gone before them; who learn from the mess that is left behind. Read more

Leave a Legacy, Not a Mess: Perfecting Leadership

I can’t tell you why I hadn’t understood this before, but I only recently discovered that it is impossible for me to be the perfect leader to any given organization.

Dying to know why!?

It’s because there is no such thing as the perfect leader. Read more

Leave a Legacy, Not a Mess: Mentoring Leaders

mentor |ˈmenˌtôr, -tər|


an experienced and trusted adviser: he was her friend and mentor until his death in 1915.

• an experienced person in a company, college, or school who trains and counsels new employees or students.

verb [ with obj. ]

advise or train (someone, esp. a younger colleague).


mentorship |-ˌSHip|noun

ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: via French and Latin from Greek Mentōr, the name of the adviser of the young Telemachus in Homer’s Odyssey .

When we talk about the concept of leaving a legacy and not a mess within one’s organization, the topic of mentoring other leaders cannot be overlooked. Read more

Leave a Legacy, Not a Mess: Succession Planning

Tired of reading today’s-best-tips-on-succession-planning type posts?!

I don’t blame you.

Succession planning is a popular topic and one can easily become inundated with information on the subject and overwhelmed with the step-by-step process by which to begin and maintain a succession plan for any given organization.

We cannot, however, in good faith leave out the topic of succession planning from a blog series such as Leave a Legacy, Not a Mess. The simple realization is that if an executive leader or board has avoided creating a succession plan, all hopes of leaving a legacy will be dashed by the onslaught of an interim mess.

Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. Read more

Leaving a Legacy, Not a Mess Series: Finishing Well

Finish well.

This advice best sums up what is to be the first in a series of blog posts entitled, Leave a Legacy, Not a Mess. The focus of this series is to offer insights, best practices, and discussions on organizational leadership.

Finishing well has everything to do with being mindful of the day when you resign, retire, or are promoted. Often times, people only think about passing on organizational knowledge within the typical last two weeks of fulfilling their job or role, rather than being proactive and strategically implementing systems and training which empower others on one’s team to carrying on business-as-usual upon one’s departure from an organization. Read more

Social Recruiting Series: Popular Social Communication Sites

Within the next few days, the Canadian working world is preparing to embark on the most anticipated season of the year – summer vacation!

The first two weeks in July are the most popular times of the year to take a vacation. Whether you have plans to travel or are instead organizing a more economical “stay-cation”, consider using this downtime to enhance and experiment with your existing social communication profiles and new social networking platforms, respectively.

Why?! Read more

Social Recruiting Series: An Introduction & Infographic

Social recruiting.

It’s the new “it” thing in the land of recruiting, so if you’re not effectively using social media within both your personal life and professional pursuits, you may be less likely to be considered for promotion, may be limiting opportunities for career transition, and may be compromising your chances of being the preferred candidate from the short-list in a new hire.

That said, if you’re not using social media at all, you’re in even more trouble career-wise. Read more

From Chaos to Calm

I had the privilege to be one of the weekly presenters for Good Works – a Toronto-based group established to serve, support and encourage the transitioning, employed, unemployed, re-entering the workforce, as well as retirees and those soon to be retired.

When Carol Roberts – the workshop creator – showed me the list of potential topics on which I could speak, the only one that truly stuck me was this: From Chaos to Calm.

It struck me because it has been the journey of my life over the past several years. To be able to look at that topic on a sheet of paper and suddenly realize that it was a tangible reality for me, made it much easier for me to share on such a vulnerable topic. Read more


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