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The Search for a new Head of School | FaithSearch PartnersI’ve recently found myself in several conversations regarding head of school transitions. It isn’t shocking, however. Depending on the data points you refer to, the majority of heads last between four to six years at a particular school. The reasoning behind this will take another post (or maybe series of posts). Needless to say, if you are on the board of a Christian school you may currently find yourself in a season of searching. If that is the case, you might be considering the use of external help in the search process. Partnering with a search firm is advantageous in a number of ways—here are a few of those to consider. You can also turn these into questions if you are currently interviewing potential firms.

Industry Expertise. Search firms focus on particular fields that allow them to offer specific insights. A search firm with experience serving Christian schools will ensure they are staying current on educational trends, leadership styles, and the qualities needed in a leader who can navigate the Christian school landscape. This expertise allows your consultant to tailor your head of school search to your school’s specific context and mission.

Candidate Pool. Search firms make sure to establish relationships with executive leaders across the country. They also maintain extensive databases and proactively cultivate connections with potential candidates, including those who may not be actively seeking new positions. This broad approach allows them to cast a wider net and identify qualified individuals who might be a fit for your school, even if they haven’t shown interest directly.

Screening and Assessment. Search consultants look beyond resumes. They conduct in-depth candidate evaluations, including reference checks, background checks, and skills assessments. The consultant will also spend face-to-face time investigating leadership style and cultural fit with each potential candidate. This screening process ensures you’re presented with a short-list of highly qualified head of school candidates who possess the necessary skills and experience to lead your school.

Confidentiality. The search for a new head of school can be a sensitive process. A search firm will ensure confidentiality throughout the search, protecting the privacy of both the school and potential candidates. This allows for open and honest discussions with candidates who may be hesitant to express interest publicly.

Time Savings. Your consultant will partner with you for the entirety of the search process, freeing up your valuable time. They will handle your process, from developing the position description to scheduling interviews and facilitating candidate negotiations—ensuring a smooth and efficient search. This allows your board to focus on their strategic priorities.

Objectivity and Guidance. An external consultant can provide an objective viewpoint throughout the search. They have experience navigating internal politics and guiding a board toward a consensus decision. Their experience allows them to anticipate potential challenges and provide valuable insights and keep the focus on a successful outcome—identifying your new head of school.

If you are in a season of change with your head of school, there are numerous things your board will need to keep in mind. A search firm consultant well versed in navigating head-of-school transitions will bring the above benefits to the table, as well as many more. At the very least, I would encourage you to interview a couple of firms to explore a potential partnership that fits your school as you journey through a transition season.


FaithSearch Partners drives executive searches with passion and purpose. We understand the importance of these qualities in effective biblical leadership and strive to help our clients find the right candidates who embody them.

FaithSearch consultants bring more than 130 years of cumulative experience in faith-based executive search. If you’re looking for leaders who can make a difference for the kingdom throughout your organization – leaders who will positively impact your people and community – reach out to us. FaithSearch excels in securing leaders for Christian media, nonprofits, higher education, ministries, and faith-driven organizations.

Contact the FaithSearch team today for more information.


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