How to Choose an Association Management Company
Association management companies (“AMC”s) provide operational support for membership organizations– typically with an all volunteer board, no office and no fulltime staff. These firms manage the day-to-day operations of the organization on behalf of the board.
When it’s done well, it’s a seamless service. Members call or email the organization and they have no idea they’re speaking to a third party. The AMC’s staff know the organization and its members and build a personal bond with them. The events get organized, the revenue gets collected and the bills get paid. The board can focus on governing and can delegate the back office activities with confidence that everything is running smoothly.
When hiring an AMC, organizations often make the mistake of assuming they are buying a commodity. This can be a costly and painful mistake. You’re not buying a yard of gravel. You are hiring a key employee.
What would you consider in making a hiring decision? You’d look at skills, experience, personality, knowledge and salary expectations. If you’ve only got the budget for an administrator, you would not post the position asking for the attributes of a senior manager. You would put all of the relevant information in the job posting– including the salary range, so you get the right applicants.
You would certainly ask for a C.V. from all your applicants to create a short list but you would not make your decision based on the C.V. alone. You’d interview at least the three top candidates to assess their attributes, knowledge and judgement and to get an idea of how well their personality would fit with your team.
Here are a few common hiring mistakes and how to avoid them.