Recruiting board members is a critical task for any nonprofit or corporate board. Consider these tips for choosing your next member.
An organization’s board governance is only as effective as its board members. Finding qualified and dynamic board members ensures the sustainability and health of an organization. Board members are responsible for providing guidance and making key decisions to achieve organizational goals. As such, recruiting the right members requires a thorough process and keen attention to detail.
It’s critical to assemble a group of people who possess the skills and passion to support your company’s strategic mission. Read on to learn board recruitment tips to help your organization enlist new members.
What Is Board Member Recruiting?
Board member recruitment involves identifying, approaching, and choosing new members to join the board of directors. It’s important to consider how the process requires more thought than simply filling vacant board positions. Finding leaders with diverse skills and the right vision requires a well-thought-out approach.
Most boards impose term limits and regularly see new members come and go, meaning recruiting board members is not a one-time exercise, but an ongoing process. We suggest establishing board recruiting procedures in advance, so you can identify, assess, and select the right board candidate without haste.
Ultimately, board members hold the power to shape and guide an organization’s mission. So, you need a plan to ensure effective board governance.
Recruiting Board Members: 5 Steps
Recruiting board members takes time but the right pick can truly set your organization up for success. Consider these tips and techniques to recruit the right candidates for your corporate board.
1. Identify the Key Qualities You’re Looking for in a Board Member
Before starting the active recruitment process, determine what you need in a member. Do you want someone with financial expertise or with prior board experience?
When choosing a new board member, it really comes down to the specificity and clarity of the job description.
- Roles and responsibilities of board members
- The necessary skills for the specific role
- Stated values and expectations of the board
- Benefits of serving on the board
- Commitment level
2. Use a Board Member Recruiting Tool
Various board recruiting tools exist to identify the next board prospect. You can also ask your board members to update your organization’s matrix, which enables you to assess the current board’s composition, goals, and skills gaps. It helps to define the new member’s role and their potential effect on the organization.
A board skills matrix also promotes diversity in your board as you can identify opportunities in race, gender, age, and location.
3. Conduct Effective Board Member Interviews
After choosing some new board candidates, engage the prospects to learn more about their background, interests, personal goals, skills, and qualifications. You can also gauge if the individual fits your board’s culture. Use the skills matrix to compare each prospect’s qualifications and develop a shortlist of top-tier candidates.
4. Provide Post-Interview Feedback
After choosing the new board member, extend an offer and invite the new member to join the board.
Make sure to let the other candidates on the shortlist know you made a selection, and give them constructive feedback explaining why you made your decision, and how they can expand their skills to qualify for a future opening on the board.
5. Cultivate a Relationship with New Board Members
Hurray! You’ve chosen a new board member. Now’s the time to launch your board orientation process. Typically, new board recruits should receive materials with information about the organization and previous meetings, including:
- History and evolution
- Mission, vision, and values
- Financial reports
- Internal structure and plans
- Recent board meeting minutes
- Contact information
Use OnBoard to Power Board Governance
While board recruitment can be an involved process, it doesn’t need to be stressful. A defined recruitment process makes all the difference. Comprehensive board management software can simplify the recruiting process and streamline board governance in the future.
Looking for a solution? Download the Board Management Software Buyers Guide to help you find the right software platform to support your board.
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