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When Talent Knocks, Do You Answer? Part Two

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Oct 16, 2012 | Blog

Last week I posted an email from a potential knowledge philanthropist who wanted to volunteer with Vantage Point. I posed the question: What process do you have in place to engage the talents of people who knock on your door? 

One of our readers commented: When an applicant has such impressive credentials, a board member (maybe even the chair of the board) or the CEO or other senior staff should arrange to meet to talk more and assess the fit. 

I agree. At Vantage Point, each knowledge philanthropist who knocks on our door is referred to Colleen Kelly (our Executive Director and Chief People Officer). Colleen is the only person with the big-picture view of all the strategies and projects where this person could potentially contribute their talent. She understands ALL the skills and expertise the organization requires (now and in the future). This process is key for any organization to best engage each person’s unique talent.

Step 1: Colleen meets by phone (typically) to find out more about the person’s work history and what they love to do. From this quick conversation it is usually easy to determine if this person would be interested in research, or marketing, or systems analysis, or finance, or organizational development, or…whatever specific area might work for them. 

Step 2: Based on her knowledge of the organization’s work in progress (programs, projects, task forces, board roles, etc.), and understanding of where the organization is going, Colleen identifies multiple volunteer roles from which the person can choose. Often, they’ll choose more than one!

Step 3: Colleen connects the person with the most appropriate employee or board member to further explore and refine the role they selected. Or, if most appropriate, she’ll begin to work with them herself. 

Would this process work in your organization? Who better than the Executive Director to open the door when talent comes knocking?

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Vantage Point

Our mission is to transform not-for-profit organizations by convening, connecting, and equipping leaders to lift organizational capacity. Every client leaves our programs with resources to excel in their role and grow the impact of their organization.

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