The McGovern Foundation is hiring a small startup team. Our first hires will be on the administrative side; we are likely to begin hiring grant making staff late 2019 or early 2020. Here’s how we’ll approach hiring.
Our Hiring Process
For every position, our aim is a fair and careful hiring process intended to ensure a diverse pool of candidates – one that is not limited to our own personal networks. We will post all of our open jobs here on our website, and conduct targeted outreach for each position. We’re working with E. Catlin Donnelly & Associates, a small firm with strong networks and deep roots in nonprofit search to help with outreach and screening.
We ask that candidates apply for positions through Donnelly & Associates rather than approaching us directly – even if you have a relationship with someone here. That will ensure that your resume and cover letter are not lost, and that you receive a prompt review and response.
We will do interviews on a rolling basis for most positions. After initial screening for qualifications and relevant experience, candidates will speak first with Catlin or one of her associates, then with the Executive Director and our other future colleagues. Finalists for some positions will meet with trustees as well. The process will take several weeks, and in some cases, a few months. We’ll keep you informed about where you are and next steps at every stage of the process, especially if delays or other work demands mean we’ll go into radio silence for a period.
For every position, we will want to see work product, or hear specific examples of things you have done that are relevant to the position you’re seeking. And, should you become a finalist, we will do a thorough reference - and for some jobs - a background check. We like deep reference checks, ones that underline your strengths as a candidate, but that also surface your particular work style, and areas where you’ll need support. We’ll ask about what brings you joy at work, and what situations or behaviors frustrate you.
This process may seem slow, and we ask for your patience in advance. We want to build a unique and brilliant team to build what we hope will be a unique and brilliant institution. It will be a small team at first; that means we need to hire carefully, and we believe it is fairer when every staff person knows that all colleagues have undergone the same review.
What are we looking for?
The qualifications and experience needed for positions will vary, but here’s a list of some of the qualities and characteristics we’ll look for in every hire:
• Comfort in a start up culture. As a small, rapidly-growing organization, we need every person to take initiative to solve problems individually and collectively. We have to be flexible, and bring a “whatever it takes” attitude to the work. The initial roles each member plays will evolve and change over time. The pace of work and change will be fast.
• Natural bridge-builders and collaborators who are comfortable crossing borders and breaking down silos, and bring a partnership mindset to work every day.
• Civility, kindness, truth, integrity and humor. We want an organization where staff bring these qualities to every relationship: with grant applicants, board members, and each other.
• Curiosity about the work and the world, together with the restlessness that leads to continuous improvement.
• A commitment to diversity. We believe that diversity of lived experience, backgrounds, personality, thoughts and identities strengthens our work and makes us smarter. We want colleagues who demonstrate cultural humility, sensitivity, and willingness to learn, who respond vigorously to injustice and stand up for those who are mistreated.
• Clear-eyed optimists who view the world in terms of potential and opportunities. This is very much in the spirit of our founder, Patrick J. McGovern, who closed many conversations with “the best is yet to come.”