Does your board take a formal or informal approach to board director recruitment? Either way, it’s important to establish a standard process for nomination committees to follow. A standard process is just as important for nominees as it is for the board because it aids in choosing the best candidates in the fairest way possible. Include most of the details in the board recruitment package and fill in the rest during the interview.
As your nominating committee prepares to identify and recruit board director candidates, they have some work to do beforehand. In order for the board to know what kind of talent they need, it’s important to set up and complete board self-evaluations. Once they’ve been completed, the committee will need to analyze the results. Most committees use a skills matrix and gap analysis to determine the skills that are lacking on the board.
The next step is to review the current board’s composition and start making decisions about the best way to round out the board with a full set of skills and competencies. This process should include reviewing the strategic plan and determining if the board will need a different skill set over the next three to five years.
Using Technology to Locate Appropriate Board Candidates
There are potential board candidates near and far that you may not even know exist or are available. That’s where boardroom technology built for the nominating and governance committee can be of great assistance. You’ll want to learn as much about candidates as possible before you contact them to ensure they’ll be a fit on your end.
The right tool is designed to streamline the work of the nominating committees by providing them with a tool that lets them set criteria for board candidates’ expertise, skills and other qualifications, and it automatically pulls up candidates that fit the description. The tool will also help identify overboarded directors and director interlocks and locate the shortest path to reaching some of the most qualified board directors and C-level executives. The tool gives committees access to over 125,000 candidates across 24 global markets and 40 indexes.
Fit for the board works both ways. Potential candidates will likely be flattered that they’re being considered for a board vacancy. However, before they can commit, they’ll want to know more about your organization. If they ask few or no questions, it’s a good sign to pass them by.
What do you want them to know about your organization? What do they need to know about the organization before agreeing to serve on the board of directors? The board recruitment package will provide them with all the easy answers. If everything looks good at this point, it’s prime time to schedule an interview with the committee and the Executive Director to explore the role and the candidate’s fit for the role in more detail.
What to Include in Your Board Recruitment Package
Your board recruitment package can include whatever information you feel is important. At a minimum, the packet should include basic information about the organization, the mission, statistics, duties and responsibilities of board directors, and a list of expectations for board directors.
The cover page for a board recruitment package is much like any other. Place the name of the organization and the logo in the center of the page. Add the title, such as “Board of Directors’ Recruitment Package,” under the organization’s name in bold letters. In smaller type at the bottom, list the address, contact phone number, email address and website address.
On the next page, begin with an introductory paragraph of 200-300 words. Talk a little about the basic information and history of the organization. Tell what the organization does, who they serve, where they’re located and what their main focus is. Describe who founded the organization and why and describe any major milestones.
Title the mission statement and write it out, word for word.
Offer up a shortlist of ways that the organization is valuable to the community and other stakeholders.
Statistics are a great way for candidates to become acquainted with the organization quickly. Bullet out a list of awards, achievements and accomplishments. State the organization’s operational budget. Provide the numbers for members, number of those being served, number of employees and volunteers, and the total number serving on the board of directors.
Board of Directors’ Duties and Responsibilities
In this section, go into greater detail about the duties and responsibilities of board directors. Point to the mission and mention how it relates to their work on the board. Expand on the importance of issues like ethics, integrity, legal compliance, and avoiding or disclosing conflicts of interest. Add that they’ll be expected to sign a Code of Conduct and a Conflict of Interest form.
Explain that the board works with the Executive Director to create strategic direction through short- and long-term planning. Note that the board is also responsible for ensuring managerial continuity and participating in an annual evaluation for the Executive Director and the board.
This is also the place to be upfront about the expectations for board participation by detailing how many board meetings and committee meetings the board holds annually and the percentage that each board director is expected to meet.
As a matter of course, it’s important to highlight the importance of networking to spread the good work of the organization. Note that they’ll be expected to oversee the budget and financial reports and get familiar with board policies, bylaws and operational procedures, and be willing to sign the conflict of interest and code of conduct commitment forms.
Write a short paragraph about how committees engage deeply with issues by doing research, breaking down their findings and presenting them to the full board. List the committees by name and provide a brief description of what they do and who serves on them.
Candidates will want to know what the expectation is for their time. In this section, document their term length and how many terms they can serve. Indicate how often the board meets with times and dates. Include the time expected for serving on committees and approximately how many hours they will need to devote to the organization annually.
Finally, clue them in on how the rest of the selection process will work. Ask them to complete the application for the board of directors and note where to send it and to whose attention. Note that the board will set up interviews for the top candidates. Also, provide the dates that the board directors will be nominated and indicate that you will notify all candidates who are in the final running.
Your board recruitment package should be customized according to your organization. Include the basic information that covers the types of information recruits want to know. It will leave more time for gauging fit during the interview process.