Explaining m/Oppenheim: How we deliver better results than corporate search firms

m/Oppenheim is shaped for a new age in the field of executive search.

For years, large executive search firms conducted searches by leveraging information in proprietary contact databases. With these proprietary databases in hand, firms set $2m – $4m revenue targets for their principal consultants and had them focus on sales. Meanwhile, back office operations of these firms optimized profit delivery through least-cost, assembly-line processing of candidates. Today, organizations like Linkedin threaten the publicly traded and other large executive search firms by taking this model to the next level.

m/Oppenheim has an extensive international database of leaders involved across nonprofit sectors, and we have vital networks and search-support technologies second to no other firm. This said, our competitive edge was never built on our exceptional proprietary database or support technologies. We do not set revenue targets that shift incentives for consultants away from meticulous search execution. And we do not maximize profit through assembly-line processing of candidates that alienate candidates and other constituents of your organization.

m/Oppenheim focuses on two things: we strengthen nonprofits and nonprofit careers through executive search services, and we self-sustain – so that we can strengthen nonprofits and nonprofit careers. This approach has specific advantages:

  • We optimize our services and processes around each client’s mission, their various definitions of success and search outcomes. We do not seek to optimize around revenue & profit per partner, stock price or earnings per share targets.

  • m/Oppenheim consultants assigned to a search, actually conduct the full search. Search execution is not a search-by-title, musical chairs, or rote mechanical outreach process that in reality is undertaken by back-office personnel while consultants spend their time selling the next engagement. Our hands-on involvement enables us to personally engage candidates who are otherwise too busy and too valued to themselves seek a change.

  • After we collect your board and staff members’ diverse views on what will constitute success over the next years, we tailor the search to engage diverse candidate profiles. We seek people who deliver success in different ways and under different circumstances. We focus on results, not claims, deconstructing how success was delivered by each candidate.

  • Our process is transparent, forthright, honest and clear, so that clients and candidates are not surprised by what each learns as the process unfolds.

  • We will not sell you on a solution that does not feel right; rather, we systematically engage, analyze, work through concerns and issues, and try to ensure that the fit between candidate and client is a natural one.

In the for-profit sector, commercial search firms are able to translate candidate attributes into an understanding of how a particular candidate would contribute to profitability. The nonprofit sector is different – there is no unitary bottom-line success metric like profitability. A process fundamentally based on delivering profitable business operations is why corporate search firms deliver results for nonprofits that in retrospect may seem uninspired and insufficiently textured for the nonprofit in question. On the other hand, when the search firm’s mission and incentive is to strengthen nonprofits, the whole search process and the thinking of search consultants is shaped specifically to serve your purpose in all its complexity.

Our approach is to surface great leadership alternatives, then help you to understand the futures that different leaders might deliver. This results in selection of more skilled, battle-tested and inspiring leaders for nonprofits and their constituents.

What do you think?  And can you help us improve?


Visit mOppenheim.TV to view video interviews with nonprofit leaders from across the sector.
We deliver executive search for nonprofits and produce videos on nonprofit leadership.
Call us at: +1(415) 762-2650 or contact us at info@mOppenheim.com

Explaining m/Oppenheim, Management