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Manager, Talent and Executive Search

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About Schaffer&Combs:

Schaffer&Combs (“S&C”) is a a fast-growing search and strategy consultancy dedicated to the purpose driven sector.  Headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles, California, and Durham, North Carolina, S&C serves as the strategic thought partner for some of the most ambitious change-making organizations in the world.  Our clients range from nonprofit organizations, for-profit companies, philanthropies, foundations, industry associations, and government agencies, based locally in the Bay Area and globally across four continents. S&C is an award-winning certified B Corporation, and is proud to use business as a force for good.


Talent and Executive Search at Schaffer&Combs:

S&C has a thriving Talent and Executive Search practice, placing individuals in diverse executive and senior leadership roles across the purpose driven sector.  We also engage frequently with clients on their organizational design to help ensure success and sustainability for our placements. Recent clients include Living Goods, Oakland Museum of California, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, /dev/color, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, RSF Social Finance, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, HOW Institute for Society, and more.


The growth and success of the Talent and Search practice can be attributed to four factors:

  1. Strategic Foundation:  Across our leadership team, our sector expertise and executive experience is expansive, ranging from education to supply chain innovation, from developing world healthcare to social impact real estate.  This broad experience contributes to understanding our clients, as well as good, nuanced judgement in terms of talent.
  2. Diligence in Outreach:  Beyond reliance on our existing network, S&C employs an extremely targeted research strategy based on our deep and nuanced understanding of the role, the environment, and what success looks like.
  3. Excellence in Brand Management:  S&C takes a brand management approach to executive search: the client’s story is vital in enticing the right person to leave their current professional setting, and we pride ourselves on our ability to capture this story and communicate it compellingly to connectors and potential candidates.
  4. Emphasis on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion:  S&C understands the benefits of, and believes deeply in, practices that support fair hiring. But the issue goes deeper than fair hiring -- we know that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not, and thus we seek to go beyond mere compliance with equal employment opportunity guidelines, and embrace the specific role our firm can play to change this dynamic.


Spotlight on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion:

Over the last few years, S&C has begun a journey to elevate equity and diversity to the highest level of strategic priority and to also subject our practices to external scrutiny.  The commitment manifests in improved employee training and cultural commitments to diversity, and on the search side of our consultancy, in continually advancing approaches to diversity in recruiting, such as:

  • Techniques like blind screening and carefully designed interview approaches which assess candidates solely upon ability to succeed
  • Outreach strategies that identify traditionally underrepresented communities and candidates
  • Direct advice to our clients on sensitive but important matters, such as how to suppress subtle biases in the candidate assessment process;  We deliver this advice not from a stance of perfection, but rather as colleagues learning together


About the Manager Role:

S&C’s Talent and Executive Search practice is poised for continued exponential growth in the coming 1-5 years.  S&C is seeking an impact-driven, hard-working individual to join the Talent and Executive Search team as a Manager, with the potential to quickly grow into a leadership role within the practice.

The Manager will play a primary role within Executive Search engagements, including management of client communications, leadership of client meetings and presentations, oversight of internal project team work flow and quality, and screening of potential candidates via application review and interviews.  The Manager will also contribute to business development, cultivating relationships with existing clients, introducing S&C to new clients, and supporting the S&C leadership team in closing new engagements with prospective clients.

This individual will also have the opportunity to lead the ongoing development of S&C’s Executive Search practice area, including professionalism, efficiency, prominence, and driving impact in equity, diversity, and inclusion.  Success for this position will go beyond completion of client engagements and closing new business, to creating an overall step change in S&C’s Executive Search profile in the sector. This is a unique opportunity to become a key contributor in a thriving business and to help bring S&C’s Executive Search into new stages of growth and success.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Project Management on Executive Search Engagements
    • Oversee outreach strategy and execution:  Lead research, outreach, and calls with targeted connectors and applicants, develop key messaging for managing the client’s brand and creating excitement for the role in the marketplace   
    • Draft job descriptions in thought partnership with clients and S&C lead search consultants
    • Manage applicants:  Screen applications, conduct interviews, and steward candidates through the S&C and client interview processes
    • Develop a Finalist Slate:  Develop comparative matrices for comparison across top candidates and collaborate with team to identify finalists for each role  
  2. Client Management and Communication
    • Serve as the primary liaison in day-to-day client communications, ensuring positive relationships throughout the engagement, and following
    • Generate creative, action-oriented insights and recommendations
    • Support joint problem-solving with clients, and draft high-impact presentations and plans
    • Seamlessly communicate process, timelines, and expectations to the client throughout each engagement
  3. Business Development
    • Continually build relationships with new, potential clients through a variety of outreach strategies
    • Maintain strong relationships with existing clients to identify new opportunities to work together
    • Assist S&C Managing Partners, Principal, and Directors in closing business with new Executive Search clients
  4. S&C Executive Search Practice Development
    • Identify and execute opportunities for process improvement that enhance efficiency, professionalism, and an enjoyable experience for clients, candidates, and S&C search teams
    • Dedication to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Recognize the opportunities and differentiating strengths that diverse leadership brings to an organization, and champion D&I in support of the S&C search practice and our clients.
    • Marketing and promotional materials
  5. Mentorship, Internal Culture, and Team Building
    • Serve as a mentor to Fellows and Associates, and a model of leadership for everyone at the firm
    • Contribute to the cohesive, positive culture at S&C, founded upon our Core Values of Results, Quality, Margins, Ethics, and Relationships


  • Talent and/or executive search experience: 3+ years (or equivalent) experience in talent development and/or executive search function area
  • Project management: Excellent organizational, project, team, and time management skills, with demonstrated attention to detail. Excellent manager and mentor to junior staff.
  • Management experience: Effective leader with experience in facilitating the professional growth and development of colleagues and direct reports
  • Communication skills and gravitas: Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills; polished, professional, and approachable demeanor.
  • Strategic Mindset, Solutions Orientation: Ability to navigate complex problems quickly and effectively develop solutions across multiple parallel projects
  • Dynamic, Collaborative Work Style: Ability to shift between liaising with clients to managing internal initiatives while maintaining excellence across all responsibilities.  Comfortable in a close-knit, team-oriented setting. Displays transparency, professionalism, and humility.
  • Visionary Leadership: The ability to clearly envision and rally people around shared goals.
  • Purpose Driven Orientation: Passion for the social sector and commitment to working on challenging problems.
  • Cross-Sector Experience (preferred): Experience in two or more sectors (non-profit, for-profit, public)
  • Unquenchable Curiosity: A need understand and learn from each conversation, process, achievement, or setback.
  • Humane Ambition: A desire to support our clients to the utmost, to drive improvements to practice, culture, and process, and to advance within this company while supporting colleagues unfailingly.



  • Competitive compensation package, including healthcare and other benefits
  • Professional development trainings/workshops led by Executive Team, Directors, Managers and Associates
  • Flexible work schedule with office hours at the WeWork California Street location in San Francisco’s Financial District (and access to membership benefits)
  • Opportunity to drive the growth and expansion of the leading Talent and Search practice within the purpose driven sector, with an emphasis on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Opportunity to pursue projects and clients that are of particular interest
  • Exposure to a broad variety of social change sectors, models, entities, and leaders; excellent opportunity to expand your professional network
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