The Value of Community Engagement in the Leadership Search Process

By Hadley Kornacki

Hiring a new leader is a decision that will have a significant impact on an organization’s future, and it is essential to get it right. Staff, board members, and other constituents each hold unique perspectives on the vision for the role and the organization’s needs. Engaging diverse voices from across the community in the leadership search is crucial for several reasons.

Voices are Heard

All members of the organization’s community have a stake in the institution’s success, and their input is valuable, especially in a leadership search. Consider a school; teachers, parents, students, and staff all have valuable insights into what they believe the school needs in a new leader. Using input gathered via surveys, discussion groups, and individual conversations to create the job description, competencies for the role, and outreach plan can help to ensure the new leader has the skills, experiences, and buy-in necessary to succeed in the role.

Build Trust

Involving the community in the leadership search process can help to build trust and transparency. It shows that the Board or hiring manager values their input and is committed to making the best decision for everyone involved. Establishing a representative search committee responsible for overseeing the search process, screening candidates, conducting interviews, and making hiring recommendations not only ensures a more successful outcome. It can also help to create a positive and supportive organizational culture in the process.

Set up for Success

When community members feel their voices have been authentically heard and valued, they are more likely to be aligned with the hiring decision. Even if the selected leader is not their first choice, transparent communication throughout the search process will help everyone understand why the decision was made. Involving the community in the hiring process is the first step to ensuring that the new leader has a smooth transition into their role.

Let’s Get Started

Kicking off  the search for a new leader is an exciting time, and with so many moving parts it’s great to have an expert on your side. Hadley’s experience with shepherding clients through the process will put you and your team at ease, and Edgility’s network is sure to connect your opening with excellent leaders. So, are you ready to get started? Reach out to Hadley, today.


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We believe equity isn’t a box to check. It’s a daily action. Someone’s unique identity isn’t something to overcome–when paired with the right opportunity, it becomes one of their greatest professional assets. We exist to empower social impact organizations to recognize and overcome unconscious bias, racism and sexism so they can build a workforce that reflects and strengthens the communities they serve.