Executive Brief

Director of Development
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières

September 2023

About the Process

Steps in the Selection Process

1.  Announcing Your Wish to be Considered

If you wish to be considered for this position, please forward your résumé, cover letter, and any other relevant material to us.

Applicants whose background and experience most closely match the requirements of the role, will be asked to complete a Self-Assessment questionnaire; the purpose of the Self-Assessment is to offer you the opportunity to highlight, in your own words, how your experience aligns with the key mandates and criteria of the role.

The materials that will be presented to the Search Committee, should your candidacy be presented, are your:

  • Completed Self-Assessment Questionnaire
  • Cover Letter
  • Résumé


2.  Interview

Once we receive the Résumés, Cover Letters, and Self-Assessments of those who express interest in the position, we will compare them against the Candidate Profile and also against the backgrounds of other candidates.  We will then conduct a comprehensive interview of the top-rated candidates to assess fit, motivation, executive intelligence, experience, and alignment with the key criteria set out above.


3.  Candidate Due Diligence

We will let you know as soon as possible after the interview if we will be proceeding further and presenting your candidacy to the Search Committee for its consideration; we will also ask you about your interest and whether you would like to continue in the process.  If both parties wish to proceed, we will ask you to begin gathering any information that might have an impact on your final decision. Usually there are three categories: 

a)    Matters of Fact – These include benefits, pension plans, vacation policy, perquisites, and an approximate indication of the compensation plan. If a physical move would be required to accept the position, please learn about housing, schools, relocation assistance, and any other matters of this kind that are important to you.

b)    Matters of Family – If a physical move will ultimately prove unacceptable to your family members, please determine that at this stage.

c)     Matters of Fit – Please list the remaining questions that you would need to have answered about the position and the organization and pass them along to us. We will be happy to answer them for you.

The goal of gathering all of this information is to help you make an intelligent decision, as soon as possible, about the degree of your interest. In fairness to everyone, please do not go further if you really think you are unlikely to accept the position should it be offered to you. If you have additional questions following our initial discussion, but your interest is tentative, and you are still “exploring”, please let us know. We can help you get the additional information you need.

It is not uncommon for candidates to be pursuing multiple opportunities concurrently. In the interest of transparency, if you are a candidate for another opportunity, please let us know immediately, and keep us informed of your status. Doing so does not reflect negatively on your application, it simply ensures full disclosure from all parties involved.


4.  Preparation of Long List and Creation of Short List

If after your interview with us and your due diligence, you remain interested, we will include your application in our Candidate Report. The Candidate Report will include the materials noted in step 1 above, and any additional supporting materials such as letters of reference.  The Report will be presented to the Search Committee, for its review and consideration.   From this, the Search Committee will choose a Short List of candidates that it will invite to an interview.


5.  Interview with the Search Committee

Interviews with the Search Committee are scheduled as follows: 

Round 1: The first round interviews will each be 60 minutes long and will centre on discussing key priorities and the role.  All candidates will be notified of their status at the end of the first round of interviews.

Round 2: Two or three candidates may be invited back for a second interview.  The second interview will be less formal and focused on addressing any unanswered or new questions arising from the previous interview.

If you are one of the candidates invited back for a second interview, you may also be asked to make a short presentation on a specific topic of interest.


6.  If you are the Finalist – Assessment and Referencing

If you are chosen as the finalist, references will be conducted at this stage; we will want to speak with people who have known you from a subordinate, peer, superior, and client perspective. We will work with you to choose a set of referees who can provide a complete picture of your employment history, skills, weaknesses, strengths, competencies, values, etc. 

Finally, we will ask you to provide us with the necessary information and authorization to complete a detailed background check (education, social media, credit, criminal, etc.).


7.  Presenting the Assessment, Reference, and Background Findings to the Search Committee

At the completion of the references, assessments, and background checks we will present the findings to the Search Committee for its review and consideration.  The Search Committee will meet and make its final selection.


8.  Steps Leading to an Offer

If you are selected as the finalist candidate, and if no further references are required, you will be made a verbal offer of employment during which time the terms and conditions of the Offer of Employment will be discussed with you.  We will facilitate the negotiations and present you with the formal Offer of Employment once agreement is reached.

Etiquette Regarding an Offer

If this position is offered to you, we would like to know that you will honour two standards of professionalism:

  • First, that you will treat the offer in confidence (with the exception of discussing it with members of your immediate family) and will not ‘shop’ or discuss the offer with your present employer.
  • Second, that if you accept the offer, your word is your bond and we can count on the fact that you will be joining our client. We understand that candidates can sometimes have doubts and second thoughts after making the decision to make a major career change. These feelings are quite common, and you are wise to anticipate that they may arise. On the other hand, we want to avoid the substantial loss of time and cost of opportunity that would accompany a reversal of your decision, in much the same way as you would want to avoid handing in your resignation and then having our client cancel the offer.

If either of these conditions is unacceptable to you, please inform us immediately. We will do our best to keep you informed throughout the process.

Résumé Accuracy

The Association of Executive Search Consultants estimates that approximately one in five résumés contain material information that is untrue. Examples include the listing of degrees that have not been obtained, titles and dates of employment that are incorrect, and accomplishments that are overstated. As a result, our firm has adopted the practice of verifying the claims made in the résumés of finalist candidates. Our policy is to discontinue the candidacy of anyone whose résumé contains distortions of material information.

If you notice an error in your résumé after you have forwarded it to us, please contact us immediately and send us a corrected copy.

NOTE: MSF Canada will work within its means to secure immigration status for a selected candidate. The success of an immigration application depends on many factors based on the Government of Canada’s rules and standards. Neither the timing of an application, nor the ultimate outcome, can be guaranteed by MSF Canada or its outside immigration counsel.

Additional Information

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