Executive Search in the Education Sector: The CER Interviews April Sarraille

By April 27, 2019 May 8th, 2019 No Comments
executive search firm for education

Executive recruiter April Sarraille of executive search firm Knowledge Leaders joins Jeanne Allen of the Center For Education Reform to discuss executive search in the education sector, innovation in talent acquisition and what makes for the most successful search. This, plus the student’s entire experience being a story (Pre-K to gray).

Learn more in this episode, hosted on the Knowledge Leaders Podcast.

Listen to the Full Podcast Here

Podcast Transcript Excerpt

Jeanne Allen: What was most interesting, April, when I first met you in your work, and now I want to hear about why you guys have launched Knowledge Leaders, is that you’re here as kind of addressing the human talent, and the talent space, in the innovation market. And that’s unique for what we call executive search firms, right? So welcome, April. 

April Sarraille: Thank you, Jeanne, so happy to be here and be part of this. We are really excited about Knowledge Leaders for a lot of those reasons. And, for many reasons that people get involved with education is, to help the people trying to learn from Pre-K to gray.

Knowledge Leaders is a team that’s been working together for several years now, coming and continuing to bring that innovation to education. And sometimes when we work with clients, what they need is someone who is tried and true, grew up with education, who knows the ins and outs. But sometimes, they need “new.”

And what we found over the past 2-3 years is that our placements, 30% of them, have been people from outside of the education industry. And that’s really helping to influx new ideas. Like you said, the innovation, let’s keep it coming. It can’t just be an insular community.


Jeanne Allen: What’s the most exciting field in your estimation, whether for the business of Knowledge Leaders or just in general? What are you seeing where there’s the most activity that is needing to grab people needing to become new and different and populated by new folks?

April Sarraille: My first immediate answer is the obvious one probably which is Pre-K, which is what everybody is really excited about right now. Private equity investors are really excited about Pre-K right now. But I think what’s coming eventually is the thread.

It takes you really from–and maybe we’ve identified now Pre-K as the beginning of learning–but what is that common thread? How does it weave and where does it change as a student’s life changes when they get into Middle School, where am I going to go next and is college right for me or is there something else that’s right for me?

And then they grow up, and then maybe they’re one of the 70% of the non-traditional college students that are doing it when they’re adults, and then you become–you know, in your career–and you go to a boot camp.

I think that thread is where we’re going to see highlighted more and more over the years and looking holistically across the whole education span instead of saying, “I work in K-12.” [or] “I work in Higher Ed.” I think and hope those are going away.

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