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, school districts, charter schools, associations, membership organizations, foundations, and more.

When an organization chooses to work with Summit, it engages in a proven, collaborative 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 (Link to Service 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.
  • Diversity 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.