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The ESS Search Process

From the moment you know you need a new school superintendent, it's tough to focus on anything else. Will your next district CEO, superintendent of schools, or chancellor really understand what your community needs? Will he or she complement the board's vision?

Our process has been refined with the benefit of nearly three decades' experience to set the course for the board, handling the dozens of necessary steps that take time and leaving the board with the key decisions.

Plan the search

Your search is customized to meet the needs of your school board and your district. ESS will help you establish the schedule, determine advertising and recruitment efforts, and develop the budget—all the basics to get the search started on the road to success.

Develop a leadership profile

What is your board looking for in a superintendent? Our leadership profile sessions help you define the leadership characteristics and selection criteria most important for your district. And we believe community involvement is essential. Through group sessions and Web-based surveys, your district's staff, students, parents, and other community members are given a voice in the superintendent selection process and in the future of the district.

Give you the right information ...

With access to a wealth of experience and knowledge, we will steer the search in the most effective way to determine exactly what your district needs to find applicants that are the right fit.

We coordinate all aspects of finding and getting to know the ideal candidate. Our network of search consultants helps recruit qualified applicants, and we advertise in a variety of publications and on line to get the greatest exposure for your search.

We compile applications, make travel arrangements, help develop interview questions, and structure the interview process. In the end, we'll present candidates that we're confident can lead your district to success.

... then let you decide

Ultimately, the choice is yours. But you can make it with the full confidence that your district's unique needs were considered before the final vote takes place.

Once your board decides on a finalist, we will help you negotiate the contract, coordinate the site visit, and communicate your selection to your community.

Ease the transition

With the search complete, our work continues as we assist you and the new superintendent in making the transition. And we guarantee your satisfaction with your new district leader. If the superintendent leaves within two years of hiring, we will reopen the search with no additional consulting fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should an application packet be?

The application packet should be long enough for you to “sell” yourself to a prospective board of trustees. The best way to do this is to stress accomplishments and show a positive track record. When all required documents are submitted and combined, the application packet should not exceed 30 pages.

How long will a search take?

Ideally, a search takes up to four months from the day the search is opened until the new chief executive is hired. This gives ample time to develop a profile, advertise the position, and conduct interviews.

Sometimes a board feels it must shorten the process, and ESS will work with the board to establish a suitable time line.

How much information is needed to support my application?

The application should contain enough information for you to "sell" yourself to a prospective employer. The best way to do this is to stress accomplishments and show a positive track record.

Is a site visit to the top candidate's home district really necessary?

Yes, we believe so. The visit allows the board to confirm its impressions of the top applicant.

Will my application be confidential?

Yes. Executive Search Services makes every effort to maintain strict confidentiality of applicant names and materials submitted with an application.