Our Search Process

Since 2001, Summit has provided customized search services to mission-based organizations in the education and nonprofit sectors. Our customers include colleges and universities, K-12 school districts, charter schools, associations, membership organizations, foundations, and more.

When an organization chooses to work with Summit, it engages in a proven, collaborative search process that helps clients:

  • Promote and publicize their organization and employment opportunity
  • Enhance the quantity and quality of their applicant pool
  • Enhance the diversity of their applicant pool
  • Streamline the work of the hiring team or search committee
  • Ensure positive experiences for candidates by providing frequent communication
  • Capture valuable market feedback and benchmarking data

While we offer a variety of service level options, following is a glimpse at the process we follow for a full-service comprehensive search:

Preparing for an executive search

Step 1: Preparation

  • Position and needs are analyzed during an intake process that involves meetings with key stakeholders.
  • Position prospectus and marketing materials are created and approved.
  • Recruiting strategy is formulated.

Step 2: Recruitment

  • Extensive, nationwide, inclusive sourcing strategies are employed that involve advertising, networking, and passive candidate outreach.
  • Prospect research and specialized sourcing strategies are implemented and tracked.
Executive search evaluation

Step 3: Evaluation

  • Prospective candidates are screened and evaluated by Summit. Qualified candidates are presented to client and/or search committee.
  • Clients can be provided a secure website to access materials and key documents.
  • The option exists for search committees to utilize a specialized program to review and rate candidates online; Summit presents compiled results back to search committee for use as a decision-making tool.
Executive search interviews

Step 4: Initial Interviews

  • Semifinalists are selected and interviewed.
  • Finalists are recommended.
Executive search due diligence

Step 5: Finalist Due Diligence

  • Finalists are selected and on-campus interviews occur.
  • Reference checking and background checks are implemented.
Search selection and negotiation

Step 6: Selection and Negotiation

  • Campus feedback is assessed and selection decision is made.
  • Offer is made and negotiated.
  • Onboarding plan is discussed to ensure a successful transition.