The Executive Director Position & Executive Search
The Executive Director Role

The Executive Director job, under the direction of the Board of Directors, is responsible for the overall management and operation of an organization. Along with the board, the Executive Director develops current and long-term organizational goals and objectives, as well as policies and procedures. They are responsible for developing plans to achieve these goals; implementing policy; supervising all other senior roles in the organization; managing finances (financial planning, operating budget, accounting and audit); maintaining Board relations; and supervising administrative management for the organization.

What Capabilities Hiring Organizations and Executive Search Firms Look for in an Executive Director

Executive search consultants or headhunters look for individuals who are visionaries and strategic leaders who can work effectively with all stakeholders in the organization.

The Executive Director is expected to engage and convene others in a process of exploration and dialogue.

Aspiring Executive Directors should be innovative as well as pragmatic and have strong written and oral communication skills; excellent organization, administrative and financial management skills; and the ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions.

The candidate who fills the Executive Director position will be required to plan, direct and coordinate activities; negotiate and administer contracts; and work directly with stakeholders.

Executive recruiters will look for an executive who has demonstrated the above capabilities in prior jobs. The successful Executive Director job candidate will have worked closely with a Board of Directors in past jobs and job experience including success in general management, financial management and strategic planning.


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