We’re sitting down with the senior team members at DRiWaterstone Human Capital to find out, in their own words, what drives them and why DRiWaterstone is one of North America’s top executive search firms for the non-profit and social impact sectors.
This week, we’re continuing our chat with Managing Director, Doug Trout:
- DRiWaterstone Human Capital (DRiW): How do you describe your role at DRiWaterstone?
Doug Trout (DT): Overall, I’m the beginning to end conduit between our clients and candidates and the driver of our firm’s nonprofit initiatives and practice. My role is to find the opportunities and the organizations with whom we want to partner, to make sure that we’re identifying the right people to fill the roles, and to ensure that we’re meeting the high standards of both our clients. I also ensure that we’re providing concierge service to both the clients and candidates – because we work for our clients, but we’re also working to give the candidates the best possible experience. And then I make sure that we’re constantly and consistently managing expectations so there are no surprises.
- DRiW: How does your background in the non-profit sector influence your approach to executive search?
DT: I come out of universities and non-profits. I spent the first half of my career working with dynamic and inspired philanthropists and institutional leaders who required a lot of attention, thoroughness, and authenticity. They were outcomes driven. In that type of role, it’s all about making sure that you manage and meet expectations. We had a tremendous responsibility to fulfill our end of what is an incredible investment by benefactors and investors and the institutions they represent.
At DRiWaterstone, that’s exactly what we do with our clients. Our clients make a significant investment in our firm and in our ability to find their next great leader or team member, and so we have to make sure the processes and strategies that we employ are best in class and that their expectations are met.
It works the same way with candidates. It’s critically important that our clients understand how we embrace all prospective candidates with the utmost professionalism and respect. We want candidates to come out of the process with a positive impression of our clients and our process, and feel valued. Let’s face it, nine out of ten candidates don’t get the job. I’m ultimately in the disappointment business – but we talk with a lot of great people, and we want them to know that even if they don’t get the job, they’re going to be treated better than any other search they’ve been part of. It’s a differentiator for us, and I think it’s something that clients appreciate.
- DRiW: What do you want candidates to know about working in the non-profit/social enterprise space?
DT: I tell this to candidates who are unclear about where they’re headed to force rank three key components of their professional career: the mission, the people they work with, and the role they’re going to play within the organization.
The order of that ranking always differs, but I think in leadership positions in particular, the most successful leaders in mission-oriented organizations are truly inspired and driven by the mission. And they are fearless. Because if you’re not, the small annoying parts of the job can eat away at you and you become unsatisfied or end up wanting a change. Truly great leaders are inspired by the mission in an authentic way and they tend to take the right kind of risks that are communicated effectively. They gain buy-in from their board and staff, strategize and execute. You have to have a sense of fearlessness if you are going to have a leadership position in a non-profit.
At DRiWaterstone, we work with mission and purpose-driven organizations across the U.S. to help them build mission and purpose driven teams. We’d love the chance to work with you – reach out today and book a meeting with our team and find out how we can help.