Independent schools cannot afford to make a mistake on hiring a chief enrollment officer.  Regardless of whether the title is Director of Enrollment Management or Director of Admission, it is critical that schools appreciate and understand how important the hiring of a “best match” admission and enrollment leader is to institutional sustainability.  Since 1999, The Baker Group has worked with over 100 schools searching for their “best match” admissions/enrollment leader.  The Baker Group is an ideal partner to support and guide your school’s search.

With increased pressure on enrollment, independent school hiring needs have broadened, and the need for a strategic and analytical-minded professional is essential. It is also important to retain the traditional and community-minded qualities of an admission leader of the past.  Heads of School will be well-served by an enrollment leader with leadership capacity, high emotional intelligence (EQ), and strategic inclinations.  Schools will be well-served if Directors of Admission/Enrollment are not restricted in their scope to a middle manager role.


The Director of Admission/Enrollment Management must be positioned to be a scholar and guide with the Head of School, while being a strategic thinker, an analyst, and a tactician, informing other senior administrators, faculty, and trustees on the internal and external trends impacting the school’s future.
— Christine Hailer Baker

The Baker Group Edge

We are uniquely qualified to assist with searches because we have been successfully hiring, coaching, and providing professional development to enrollment leaders since, and even before, the Baker Group’s inception. We understand the skill set required to be a successful enrollment leader, and we know who and what to look for in the independent school and college market places.

We can proficiently facilitate finding your school’s next enrollment leader given our 20 years of leading admission related searches at every school type in every region of the country, and our years mentoring at Summer Workshops for new admission professionals.

Our top candidates are well-informed about recent shifts in admission and marketing needs, as well as the increased affordability challenges for families, while also recognizing the need for leadership relevant to an independent school’s strategic enrollment planning. These are not small roles, and finding the right candidate is no small feat!


What you can expect:

Our approach is to partner with the Head of School and listen to the admission team and community members, to create a search process that reflects a school’s values and hiring needs.  We are both a guide and a resource as a Head prepares to hire one of the most important leaders in the school.  Understanding the critical role an enrollment leader plays we identify candidates who are well-matched for a school, based on our pre-visit assessment tools and on campus meetings.

Our services include:

  • Framing a search process by creating a timeline, developing the job posting and job description, and offering preliminary and ongoing support and counsel to the Head of School and Search/Advisory Committee as the search is launched.

  • Visiting campus to get to know the school; by meeting with and listening to members of the school community we identify school needs and determine which of the 30 qualities in the “ideal” enrollment leader profile are the most important qualities for your school.

  • Spreading word of the search in all mediums to key stakeholders, and tapping into The Baker Group’s extensive contact list of admission professionals in the college and independent school worlds.

  • Creating structure for candidate interviews and a visit process, and providing sample questions and rating parameters. 

  • Identifying and connecting with the “best fit” candidates by engaging in important conversations about why a candidate is well-matched for the specific reasons identified.

  • Being a resource as the industry leader to advise on compensation and onboarding of a new hire.

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Are you a candidate for hire?

Learn more about what we look for, and different ways to engage with us and benefit from our experience.



Chris Baker is a well-respected thought leader who understands what schools need and, just as importantly, understands the skills and personal qualities it takes to lead an enrollment management effort. She gets to know the heart of a school, and its admissions and enrollment needs, and has the good sense and network of admission professionals to identify candidates who are well-aligned with the values of the school. I know from having the good fortune of working with Chris on incoming and outgoing searches just how effective and persuasive she is when tapping into her vast network.
— JENNI BIEHN Director of Enrollment Management — Western Reserve Academy (OH)