Recruitment Case Study

"Champagne taste with a sparkling cider budget"

Have you ever had those frustrated feelings when trying to hire an A player? The world’s oldest professional chiropractors’ association was frustrated by a typical nonprofit executive recruitment budget as they searched for an Executive Director. They needed a turnaround specialist, someone with a strong track record who could hit the ground running and make an immediate difference.

What they were doing

The Board of Directors of the Association formed a search committee to evaluate executive search firms. They were considering utilizing traditional retained search firms, which typically would mean:

  1. A fee of up to 33% of the candidate’s total compensation
  2. A search consultant would have control of the process

However, the Vice Chair was referred to Duffy Group, Inc. and introduced to a radically different approach to search: a unique fee model, one that utilizes billable hours.

Apples to Oranges: As the search committee evaluated the two models, they realized the Duffy recruitment research model allowed them to maximize their:

  1. Control of the search strategy (Collaboration)
  2. Flexibility in the process to take into account real-time changes
  3. Ability to collaborate on every step of the process (Partnership)

Subsequently, the search committee chose Duffy’s non-traditional, transparent and customized business model as a more affordable approach to nonprofit executive recruitment.  Retaining some control gave the committee a high level of trust and confidence in the process. They were 100 percent committed to collaboration, forming a strong partnership with Duffy.


Duffy Group strategized with the Search Committee and leveraged their industry specific network, blending cold calling techniques, with internet outreach to identify prospects. Duffy’s recruiting expertise is skilled at attracting “passive job seekers”– those individuals difficult to attract using traditional recruiting efforts.


Duffy Group contacted over 80 prospects and presented the Search Committee with a slate of ten qualified candidates. The Search Committee interviewed three candidates, and two surfaced as the best fit. Our clients quickly discovered their “champagne budget (for that A player), was closer to a sparkling cider budget”. The market intelligence highlighted in the recruiting report helped them understand the competitive nature of the market place. Thus, the Search Committee realized they needed to increase their salary budget in order to attract the right talent.

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“I felt well taken care of during the process…I knew the Practice Leader and her team always had our back. While I’m sure I wasn’t Duffy Group’s only client, I felt like I was. Their hourly pricing model is the only way to go; we controlled the recruiting budget while the process played out, and we found our candidate.”

Vice Chair Board of Directors.