• Talbott Team

Author: Leah York, CAE, President of Talbott Talent


I love it when my friends share their favorite things with me, so we’re going to do the same for you! These are bite-sized bits of what’s rocking our world right now. It could be a book recommendation, a podcast, a technology solution…who knows what will end up here? It’s designed to be brief so you can get a quick pulse on whether it’s something you want to check out for yourself, or even share with a colleague. AND, if there’s something you’re loving right now that you think WE should check out, please email and let me know!

- Leah


Atomic Habits by James Clear


This is one of those books that was recommended to me, but I kept thinking it sounded like about five other books I’d already read, so I didn’t add it to my reading list right away. After getting recommendations from three people I know, I decided I had better read it and I'm glad I did. If you decide to read Atomic Habits, please share how it impacts you! Here’s what stuck with me…


CONCEPT: Bad habits can get coupled with good or neutral habits. This is actually great news because I can get better by decoupling them.


ACTION: I examined the bad habits in my life, and the one I felt was giving me the most trouble was snacking late at night – it had led to weight gain and poor sleep. I noticed it coincided with watching a movie or television show in the evening. For me, relaxing with a show after work is a neutral habit, but I couldn’t do it without triggering the bad snacking habit that I had coupled with it. So I made the decision not to watch shows in the evening – and guess what? I stopped snacking late at night. I’ve lost weight and am getting better sleep. What a simple fix for something that’s been giving me trouble for years!


QUOTE: “If you can get 1% better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done. If you get 1% worse each day for one year, you’ll decline nearly down to zero.”


  • Talbott Team

Updated: 5 days ago


Author: Heather Hunter, Marketing Intern


At Talbott Talent, we’re passionate about strengthening nonprofit organizations through their greatest asset, their human capital. Prioritizing people translates into our own workplace, where our team places a high value on one another. We're pleased to introduce the Talbott Team:

Leah York, CAE - President

Having spent two decades leading and advising nonprofit executives and boards of directors, Leah has a broad range of experience and skills. She founded Talbott Talent to expertly match organizations with the best leaders for their missions. After recognizing the need for not only exceptional candidates, but also more effective organizational structures to support those leaders, she added related consulting services to expand Talbott Talent's impact on the nonprofit sector.

What's the most rewarding aspect of working at Talbott Talent?

The people aspect of my job is the most rewarding…working with a team of smart, talented professionals; hearing a candidate say, “This new job will change my family’s lives forever.”; watching board members become genuinely engaged in the future of their nonprofit.

What's something you hope to learn or improve this year?

It sounds pretty basic, but right now I’m focusing on improving my punctuality. I’m always trying to squeeze in one more task to an already full day and that puts me behind. Through improved self-discipline I’m much better than I used to be, but there’s still more progress to be made.

What's your favorite local place to shop, eat, or otherwise frequent?

Java House in Midtown Carmel, hands down. I can get a bit of work done, bump into some of my favorite people, and enjoy a great cup of cold brew.

Erica Poff, MA, CAE, PMP, IOM – Vice President

Over her career, Erica has worked in several states and countries to expand and vitalize nonprofits worldwide. As our Vice President, she manages search and consulting projects and develops and implements internal business strategies. Her expertise and broad knowledge of the nonprofit sector make her an incredible asset to the Talbott Talent team.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your job with Talbott Talent?

Working with the amazing women on the Talbott Talent team. Each of us brings a different but complementary skill set and professional background that adds a richness to the work we do with nonprofits. And they’re all really cool too!

What's something you hope to learn or improve at this year?

Incorporating mindfulness and gratitude as a natural part of my every day (and not just when I remember to open the apps I have for these on my phone!).

What's your favorite local place to shop, eat, or otherwise frequent?

During non-Covid times, I loved to do brunch on weekends with my husband or a group of friends (my favorite is Northside Kitchenette in Broad Ripple), check out vintage clothing shops in Fountain Square, and go hunting for mid-century anything at Midland Arts & Antique Market downtown.

Heather Rolinski – Vice President, Nonprofit Effectiveness

Heather develops close relationships with our nonprofit clients, working as an advisor and talent development expert. In the past, she has helped organizations form recruiting strategies, increase employee engagement, and transform leadership and culture. She directly increases organizational effectiveness by working from the inside out.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The ability to work with nonprofits who are truly making a positive impact is incredibly rewarding. I enjoy seeing the ripple effect from our work with our clients out to their members and communities they serve. I also truly enjoy the relationships we form with each client and enjoy our continued partnerships. It's hard when a client engagement ends, because I feel we have become an extension of their team and contribute to their success, which is incredibly rewarding. Thankfully, through the deep relationships we forge, many of our clients return to us and we continue working together. A win/win for everyone!

What's something you hope to learn or improve this year?

This isn't very exciting, but I want to get better at time blocking so I can build in time for special projects or other activities that are important to me. I like to stay very busy, but with that can come a bit of chaos with juggling so many things at the same time (and I happen to suffer from 'shiny object' syndrome). So, I'd like to increase my focus and be more diligent with my time. So many leaders that I coach struggle with the same issue. Maybe we need an accountability group!

What’s your favorite local place to shop, eat, or otherwise frequent?

I love the new cafe in downtown Noblesville, Bica. It's a wonderful eatery and coffee shop with a creative, eclectic menu. Personally, I'm vegetarian and love flavors from around the world. It's nice when we get a new place that has a diverse menu and caters to different dietary preferences. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a good pizza! But it's nice when Hamilton County can spread her wings in the culinary department.

Nancy Elbert – Executive Recruiter

Nancy’s journey in corporate recruitment led her from data systems in Texas, to founding and leading a successful investment company, to using her expertise for Talbott Talent’s executive search projects. For the past five years, Nancy has served on the board of trustees for the University High School of Indiana. She is constantly expanding her knowledge of the nonprofit industry and looking for ways to help others.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job with Talbott Talent?

The most rewarding part of what I do is watching our candidate get hired into what is often their dream job. I love experiencing that joy with them.

What’s something you hope to learn or improve this year?

Technology has always been a challenge for me, so I also hope to discover new ways to stay immersed in its rapid changes as it evolves.

What’s your favorite local place to shop, eat, or otherwise frequent?

I love the Monon trail. I walk around 5 miles a day, and this is my favorite place to do it. There’s a vibe out there that invigorates me; the beauty of nature, the people, and listening to a good podcast as I walk are all part of the experience for me.

Kristin Jarvis – Business Manager

Kristin’s nursing background reflects her caring nature, and her path from the hospital to business management reflects her skill in company and client support. Outside of Talbott Talent, she co-owns a business with her husband; it was named Franchise of the Year in 2019.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job with Talbott Talent?

The most rewarding aspect of working with Talbott Talent is being part of a team that cares about each other and the cause. I especially enjoy when I can take care of the "little" things so that other teammates can take care of the "big” things. When what we do individually comes together, it collectively equals success!

What’s something you hope to learn or improve this year?

I'm working to improve my tech skills!

What’s your favorite local place to shop, eat, or otherwise frequent?

I love to plant fruit trees, perennials, and a garden, so some of my favorite places to shop include Habig Garden, Sundown Gardens and Rural King.

Heather Hunter – Marketing Intern

A recent graduate from IU Bloomington, Heather manages content, contributes to marketing strategy, and designs digital and print media for Talbott Talent. She also works part-time in marketing with Synergize, an atypical networking group focused on lifelong friendships and community impact.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job with Talbott Talent?

I appreciate the opportunity to learn from such intelligent, driven women with so many diverse talents. They inspire me so much! I also really enjoy serving multiple causes through our clients.

What’s something you hope to learn or improve this year?

I know a lot about communication, but I don’t have as much business acumen as I wish I did. I’m hoping to gain those skills through an MBA that I plan to start this fall. I also want to decrease my consumption of single-use plastic.

What’s your favorite local place to shop, eat, or otherwise frequent?

I love earrings, and Silver in the City in Carmel has an amazing selection. I actually try to stay away from there as much as possible, because I’ll spend all my money if I’m not careful!


Author: Erica Poff, CAE, PMP, IOM; VP of Talbott Talent


Getting that offer letter after a long interview process can stir up many emotions—excitement, relief, gratitude. What comes first—the negotiation—probably less so. As one of the final steps in the interview process, agreeing on compensation can be a make-or-break moment for many candidates. While most candidates accept that there will be some degree of negotiation when working with their new employer’s hiring authority – whether the head of HR, the CEO, or even the board chair – this process looks (and feels) very different when a recruiter is involved. Whether you sought out a recruiter to assist with your job search or a recruiter found you for their client organization, a recruiter can be a great asset during the negotiation process.


Understand the recruiter’s role


An executive recruiter is often paid by the hiring organization to lead a job search and guide them through the process. As such, when candidates work with a recruiter they don’t pay for their services. This arrangement, while cost-effective, may concern some candidates that the recruiter will not have their best interests at heart when the negotiations begin. However, a good recruiter will go to bat for the candidate because a successful placement depends on satisfaction from both parties.


“Our client is not going to have an optimal outcome if they don’t have a candidate that is happy to be there” says Leah York, CAE, President of Talbott Talent, a national executive search firm for nonprofit organizations. “Placing a candidate who will be fulfilled in their new position isn’t possible without an understanding of their needs and goals as well. Working to understand both sides leads to what everyone wants: a long-term, successful placement.” The client organization wants the best match possible, and that requires identifying where the candidate’s and organization’s best interests meet.


If you are concerned about receiving fair representation from a recruiter, interview them before agreeing to work with them: what do they see as their obligations to the candidate vs. the (paying) client? How do they define success for their client and the candidate?


Don’t negotiate (at least not with the recruiter!)


When a recruiter is involved in the hiring process, the candidate will express their compensation desires directly to the recruiter, not the organization’s hiring authority. Your recruiter has a unique view of the hiring process; thus, you shouldn’t expect to communicate your interests in the same way you would have with the organization’s hiring authority.


“Candidates don’t need to negotiate with the recruiter because a good recruiter is seeking that ‘win-win’ for both parties” says York.


A skilled recruiter will have asked the candidate about their salary goals early on, likely during their first conversation, and continued that conversation throughout the process. Establishing this information at the beginning sets expectations and reduces the likelihood of surprises (such as a declined offer at the last minute, resulting in a failed search) should the candidate receive an offer from the client organization. A recruiter would also know the client’s ideal pay range before approaching potential candidates, allowing them to put forward only those candidates whose compensation expectations align with the hiring organization.


If a candidate has other priorities, such as opportunities for growth or flexible hours, the recruiter is the best person to determine if that kind of opportunity is realistic given their extensive knowledge of the hiring organization. A recruiter can provide candidates with insight they otherwise wouldn’t obtain on their own, allowing for more informed decision making.


Don’t hold back


It’s never productive to play hard ball with the recruiter; it is essential that you tell the recruiter what you need, without reservation, to get the best result.


“Don’t hold back when it comes to your needs and wants, not only for salary, but other intangible components like commute, culture and potential for growth” advises York. “Know what you want and allow your recruiter to lead you through the process.”


When formulating their wants, many candidates make the mistake of developing a wish list based on what they think the employer can or cannot afford or would likely be willing to give. This what-do-I-think-I-can-get mindset can be counterproductive, as it takes the candidate themselves­—their needs, skills, and potential contributions to the organization—out of the compensation equation. The resulting offer is unlikely to reflect the candidate’s value accurately, and probably won’t meet the organization's expectations either.


Instead, think about the value you would bring to the organization and craft your wants accordingly. If you’re not sure about the value you offer, ask the recruiter for feedback. Based on your experience and what you will bring to the client, your recruiter can provide insight on your personal value proposition and help you to better meet your goals.