How We Work
The selection of a superintendent is a Board of Education’s process and the most important decision it will make. BWP bases its search philosophy on the early work of Harold Webb Associates which has always emphasized the importance of customizing each search to seek out a slate of finalists who will best meet the needs of each district. Finding the right leader will determine the future of your district. As your search consultants, we will guide your Board through the four parts of a superintendent selection process:
What is specification?
To find the very best educational leader for your district, we will assist the Board in specifying or defining the characteristics and skill set that your next superintendent needs to be successful. We utilize a variety of methods to become well-informed about your district. Such an understanding is essential in seeking candidates for the Board’s selection. We will work with the Board to determine how we can best understand your district’s needs. This knowledge is used to recruit candidates and to inform finalists so they will be aware of the major issues of importance in your district. Conducting this research helps us to identify a small group of finalists who will be excited about working with you.
Many techniques can be used to define the set of qualifications needed in your next superintendent. Among the tools and processes are the following: an on-line survey, questionnaires, community and staff engagement, review of reports and available research, and school visits. We are able to compile a Leadership Profile for Board approval that specifies what we should look for in searching for your next superintendent.
How do we recruit candidates?
Our goal is to provide you with personalized and quality service that identifies outstanding candidates who are seriously interested in serving as your next superintendent. We prepare for Board approval advertisements of the position that will be posted in selected national publications and the BWP & Associates’ website (www.bwpassociates.com).
Recruiting materials are used to bring regional and national attention to your vacancy. In addition, to find the best available candidates, nominations are sought from BWP’s extensive network of consultants throughout the country as well as leaders of state and national educational organizations, university officials, and superintendents and leaders of other highly regarded school districts.
How do we assess which candidates are best?
The consultant team is responsible for recruiting and identifying the best slate of candidates for the Board to consider. The school board will make all decisions about which candidate is finally selected for your district. We conduct extensive recruiting efforts and then carefully study the pool of applicants who apply. Utilizing an on-line application as well as requiring other paper documentation, our process provides significant information about each candidate.
At the close of the search, we will identify a group of candidates for “further consideration.” These candidates are then carefully compared to the Leadership Profile approved earlier by the Board. We conduct informal interviews with these “further consideration” candidates as well as secure both formal and informal reference checks from both the references provided by the candidates and our network of educators throughout the country.
Because of the integrity of the professional relationships we have built over the years with educational leaders and others, we have the ability to secure considerable confidential information about candidates beyond that appearing in their official applications. Using our research and resources, our team will determine who we consider to be the “best of the best” from your applicant pool.
How do we assist in the selection process?
When the candidate slate is presented, we will provide information and materials to prepare the Board for the interview process. These will include written guidelines, protocols, and an extensive set of interview questions developed to ensure comprehensive interviews relevant to your search. We will continue to advise the Board as it advances through initial and finalist second interviews and other activities relevant to the search process. The Board will select the final candidate and authorize the terms of the employment contract. If requested, we will assist the Board and/or its attorney in preparing a draft contract. In addition, we will provide follow-up correspondence to candidates not selected and suggest other activities to assure an orderly transition in leadership.
What will be the timeline for the search?
We will provide a detailed timeline which will meet the expectations of your Board of Education. Our process will be tailored to your needs.