Serving on a search committee to select the next leader of your organization is an honor. But it is also a daunting, time-consuming task riddled with potential pitfalls. The process is fascinating, though its complexity offers far too many chances to make a mistake, and the risk of failure weighs heavily on each committee member.

The success of the search committee hinges on the strength of the process behind the decision. The best hiring practices provide structure, gather and organize all relevant factual information, weigh the evidence, challenge assumptions, identify alternatives, and consider the landscape in which the decision is being made. Decision makers are far more likely to succeed when the process brings forward factual information, encourages discussion, and downplays the role of unsupported opinions. This step-by-step guide outlines those best practices at each stage of the work.