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Talent Services

By Elizabeth Cryan Photography with permission from Donnell-Kay Foundation at Rocky Mountain Prep school

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Talent Services

Talent matters — a lot.
Many education organizations need a larger, more diverse pipeline of leaders with the professional skills, grit, and cultural competency to transform the lives of students. 

But great talent is not enough. To reach audacious goals, talented individuals must be part of a talent-ready organization. Talent-ready organizations prioritize talent development and effective organizational systems, culture, and capacity to cultivate diverse teams of individuals that can thrive — and generate dramatic impacts for kids.
Our Talent Services practice works on both sides of the talent equation: We help find and develop exceptional talent, and we help organizations become “talent ready.” Members of our team have decades of experience in multiple contexts, including leadership positions in top executive recruiting, human capital, and strategic consulting firms; education nonprofits; and universities. Above all, they share a deep commitment to making education organizations as effective as they can be for the students they serve.

Our talent services often link to Bellwether’s Strategic Advising work, bringing together top talent and breakthrough ideas. Specifically, our talent services include:

Executive Search

Through this support, we build durable capacity within organizations to conduct strong recruiting processes that serve them well as they grow over time.

  • Placing transformational leaders: Committed exclusively to identifying senior talent in the education sector, Bellwether’s search team has decades of experience, focused on identifying entrepreneurial talent with the skills and ambition to pursue bold and unapologetic quality goals in education. Our senior-level executive searches support organizations first by gaining an in-depth understanding of their mission, history, culture, challenges, and opportunities. Armed with this perspective, we can manage all or part of an executive hiring process — from writing the job specification to supporting the development of the offer to a successful candidate. Through our unparalleled network and a highly customized process, Bellwether identifies individuals capable of making organizations more effective and deepening their impact. For a comprehensive list of our executive search placements, please click here.
  • Advising on executive recruitment: For organizations that have critical talent acquisition needs but do not require the support of a full executive search, Bellwether provides customized unbundled services to support these recruitment efforts. Partnering opportunities include advising boards and leadership teams on how to:
    • Draft a compelling position description
    • Craft an effective search strategy
    • Seek and find diverse, high-quality candidates
    • Develop and implement a high-impact interview process
    • Conduct effective reference checks 
  • Coaching and developing leaders: Bellwether offers formal career coaching services. Individuals who are at career inflection points and who seek a seasoned thought partner, agitator, connector, and cheerleader can rely on our honed listening skills, discretion, sharp intuition, and deep knowledge of and passion for this field to help them attain their professional goals. 

Creating talent-ready organizations

  • Building management capacity: Many talented leaders in our field have risen rapidly into executive-level positions with great potential and desire to make an impact, but with limited experience managing teams. As organizations grow in size and complexity, leadership teams must invest in building efficient and effective management systems, and provide training to emerging and experienced executives. In addition to the technical management skills and systems it is also important that leaders have the adaptive leadership skills to manage a diverse team. Based on best-in-class management tools, leadership development, and best practices in adult learning, Bellwether provides highly customized, job-embedded, management capacity-building support for mid- to senior-level executives in one-on-one and team-based formats.
  • Comprehensive talent-ready diagnostic: Bellwether has designed a diagnostic framework that organizations can use to assess their talent readiness and to implement high-leverage responses to the gaps identified in the diagnostic process. We conduct this process with a particular focus on diversity, based on our belief that creating a thriving, sustainable workplace for a diverse team will both generate greater impact for students and more durable relationships with the communities that our client organizations serve. Bellwether works side by side with organizational leaders during a two-month process that includes surveys, interviews, and reviews of existing talent systems, and culminates in a detailed report on talent readiness and a plan for high priority implementation. Our aim is to shape the field’s understanding of what it means to build a talent-ready organization.
  • Talent-ready implementation services: Bellwether partners with leadership teams to support the planning and implementation efforts required to close gaps in talent readiness. Our work is highly tailored, and benefits from an explicit focus on diversity and sustainability. Our teams combine unparalleled talent and strategy expertise to meet your needs. Our services include:
    • Talent management strategy development
    • Recruitment, on-boarding, and talent development
    • Management capacity building (team and individual)
    • Performance management systems
    • Organizational structure, roles, responsibilities, and competencies
    • Culture and communication practices that support a high impact, inclusive work environment
    • Compensation, incentives, and benefits
  • Talent Learning Communities: Bellwether convenes leaders focused on talent-readiness to share effective practices across the field and learn from the benchmarking examples of organizations that conduct the talent-ready diagnostic.
  • Talent-Ready Institutes: Building on the best of Bellwether's unique combination of talent, policy, and strategy expertise and deep knowledge of the education sector, the Talent-Ready Institutes provide organizations with the opportunity to invest in talent systems that are critical to effectiveness while providing a professional community for senior talent executives. Learn more and apply for our next Talent-Ready Institute today.

View full list of who we work with

1 The term ‘talent-ready’ was coined by EdFuel.