Before you start the search for the next CEO.
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Before you start the search for the next CEO.


When the time comes to recruit the next CEO for your charity there are some initial considerations.

Here are three that need to be addressed before you can write the job description and personal specification.

The first is agreement on the strategic objectives. Every new CEO will have ideas of their own as to where they would like to take the charity. Nevertheless, it is important for trustees to consider and agree the general direction in which they want the charity to go.

Then making sure that the board fully understand what the charity’s ethos, values and philosophy are. It can be surprising how differently people interpret the words. Exam what makes the charity special and what are our fundamental values with which the new CEO must be in agreement. How will the trustees test whether long-listed candidates’ personal values and philosophy are compatible with those of the charity?

It is also worthwhile spending time considering the major challenges and risks that the charity is facing currently and those which it is likely to face in the near future.

You will then have a much better picture of the sort of person you need to lead your charity into the next phase of its evolution and will be able to probe, by the questions you ask short-listed candidates, how each candidate will deal with these challenges if they are appointed.

Once the above issues have been considered, it is time to turn to some of the practical aspects of recruitment.