How to Attract the Best Candidates for Your Board of Directors

board recruitment

It’s entirely justifiable for a board of directors to be discernably picky when looking to add some new blood.

Of course, there’s always a chance that a board member doesn’t necessarily fit in the long run—even after following all the correct recruitment protocols. But that’s a different subject altogether (and one we might broach at a later date).

However, such an issue will be less prevalent when boards take the time to define a logical, streamlined, and efficient member recruitment framework.

Not sure where to start? Luckily, there are several tips below that’ll help organizations – both small and large – attract superior candidates.

Dedicate an Entire Committee to the Cause

A board of directors should establish a nomination committee. This savvy team will dedicate themselves to relationship cultivation, candidate research, and overall networking. As such, the individuals in the nominating committee should be the board’s most well-connected and plugged-in members.

Not only will the nomination committee be in contact with and foster connections with high-level professionals, but they’ll also be subtly advertising the viability of their board. Thus, making the board attractive to equally attractive candidates.

Opening Up Your Collective Contact Books

One of the most straightforward methods of finding and attracting quality board candidates is through the contact list of current members. And not just those on the nomination committee.

Board members are – for the most part – vastly accomplished professionals who surround themselves with those of the same work ethic and demeanor. Therefore, there’s a strong chance that each board member might know 3-4 ideal candidates. Plus, the potential candidate will be enticed by the idea of joining a board where the ice is already broken with a member.

Now, this method of board member selection does come with one critical obstacle. Bringing on people already connected with current members often leads to boards that lack in diversity. First, it’s a questionable practice to have a bunch of like-minded people from similar walks of life because it means a board will be missing differing perspectives. Also, in the current business landscape, boards without a diverse cast of directors could potentially face legal and financial penalties.

Still, bringing on candidates that the board already knows has many benefits (e.g., trust, reliability, and familiarity) that shouldn’t be overlooked. The key is to look around the board room and consider whether the faces all look too similar.

Knowing the Right Time to Hire a Board Member

A mistake made by many boards is only bringing on fresh faces once a member vacancy opens.

There’s nothing that halts progress more than complacency. It’s better to be proactive and keep board member recruitment somewhere top of mind. The nomination committee mentioned above should always be patrolling the landscape and making connections. If they happen to meet someone who’s immediately an optimal fit, why wait until someone else leaves?

Bringing on a new candidate without an opening may not fit the structure at the time, but it’s always worth exploring.

Now that we’ve provided these insightful tips, we hope that your board is prepared to start a successful member-recruitment journey.