Is Educators’ Collaborative a national firm?
Yes. EC has Partners in California, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Ohio and have school connections throughout the United States and overseas due to their past professional experiences. EC was founded in 1971 and since 2007 has served over 200 schools in thirty-four states as well as in Europe, Asia, and South America.
What services does EC provide to schools?
While the majority of our work involves assisting schools with Head of School and Senior Administrative searches, we also provide wide-ranging support in other areas. These include, but are not limited to: strategic planning, governance, conflict resolution, Board training, audits of school departments (e.g. development, admissions, etc.), executive coaching, and feasibility studies.
What are the hallmarks of an EC search?
We believe the uniqueness of our services flows from the depth and breadth of our backgrounds as school leaders. Our commitment is to responsibly represent and coordinate the needs of both clients and candidates.
Working with us means choosing consultants who:
- Know through experience what it takes to run a successful school.
- Know through experience how to work effectively with boards of trustees.
- Routinely double team assignments to ensure breadth of experience and service.
- Understand school communities and can quickly and comfortably deal with all the constituents involved in the selection of a new head: faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, and members of the board of trustees.
- Seek to develop a flexible schedule and process that fits the unique ethos of each school but also understand the equal importance of deadlines within the overall search calendar.
- Provide candidates with extensive and detailed information about the school; schools and candidates repeatedly praise the EC Information for Candidates reports.
- Recognize the importance of thorough, personal reference checking in order to recommend only candidates fully qualified to meet the school’s expectations and needs.
- Are committed to a search process that not only identifies the right candidate for a school but also positions the appointee and the school for a smooth and successful transition.
What is the typical timetable for a Head of School search?
Head of School searches typically operate on a schedule of 4-10 months. With advanced early planning schools can have a more extended search schedule. When necessary, however, EC has conducted searches in only two months.
What does the typical search process look like?
Educators’ Collaborative works closely with each client school to adopt a timetable that fits its needs, but most schools follow a model that looks like this:
- Phase I: School selects search consultants, consultants visit school, draft position statement, and advertise position
- Phase II: Consultants recruit, interview, and vet candidates
- Phase III:
- Search Committee evaluates dossiers submitted by consultants and selects semi-finalist candidates to interview.
- Consultants provide training to Search Committee and key school personnel for subsequent steps in the process.
- Search Committee interviews semi-finalists in person, but privately to protect their confidentiality. Search Committee selects finalists.
- Finalists and spouse (as appropriate) visit campus for 1-2 days.
- Search Committee nominates new Head of School; Board of Trustees elects the new Head and announces appointment to the school community.
Does EC assist schools with searches for positions other than Head searches?
Yes. We assist schools with searches for senior administrators such as:
- Associate/Assistant Head;
- Directors/Heads of Lower, Middle and Upper Schools;
- Academic Dean;
- College Counselor/Placement Director;
- Business Manager/Director of Finance;
- Director of Development and Alumni Affairs;
- Director of Communications;
- Director of Admissions and Financial Aid.
The process for these searches is comparable to that used for a Head of School search although typically with a more compressed scheduled.
How inclusive should the search process be?
The answer will vary according to each school’s unique culture. Ideally, the search process will find a balance between respecting the privacy of candidates and including the many perspectives that make up a healthy school community. A well conducted search will not only enable a school to find the “best fit” candidate for each school but will also enable the appointee to begin his/her tenure with confident institutional support. Educators’ Collaborative believes a successful tenure is most likely when there is broad input – either directly or through committees – at appropriate steps in the search process, but when it is acknowledged by all that the ultimate responsibility lies with the Board of Trustees.
How is a candidate pool developed?
Educators’ Collaborative prides itself on building a robust pool of candidates for a school. The consultants draft an Information for Candidates position statement that provides an overview of the school and a leadership profile for the new Head of School. The position is listed on appropriate on-line and print sites, and EC uses its extensive database and professional network to recruit sitting Heads, “rising stars,” and “out-of-the-box” candidates. In many of our searches, the eventual appointee was not initially an applicant for the position but is someone whom we proactively contacted and encouraged to become a candidate.
How are candidates vetted?
EC partners personally conduct all candidate interviews and reference checking which results in thorough knowledge and vetting of candidates. The extensive contacts that EC has within the educational and non-profit world contribute to the wealth of information we are able to gather regarding candidates.
When should a school select an interim Head rather than undertaking a search for a permanent Head?
There can be three cases for hiring an interim head. The first and most common occasion is when there is a sudden or untimely departure of the head. If there is insufficient time to conduct a search, then the school has little choice but to hire an interim. A second circumstance for hiring an interim is when a school has enjoyed a lengthy tenure with its head and feels that the school will adjust best to a new permanent head after it has had an interim head who will serve as a transition figure.
Finally, a school may feel that it needs to make significant and difficult changes to critical aspects of the school such as personnel or programs. An interim head in this circumstance will be a change agent who by definition has a brief tenure. In all cases, schools should expect interims to address a set of short term goals that will help the school continue to develop and move forward. EC works closely with clients to adopt a timetable that fits their needs.
What do you charge for your services?
EC establishes a set fee for the search regardless of the eventual compensation package negotiated by the school. Part of our service is to provide schools with benchmark data on compensation packages for administrators, and we feel that it could be a conflict of interest to advise schools on compensation and then charge a fee based on the compensation.