The process of finding the right Directors for your board isn’t always easy. As you begin your search, ask yourself the following questions.
- Use your business plan as a guide. What are the goals you have set out to achieve, who can help you achieve them, and where can you find them?
- Which roles make sense to hire in-house, which might be more cost effective as a part-time role and which would be best served by non-executive Directors?
- Do you have a mixture of individuals who can help you create a variety of solutions and generate diverse, thoughtful ideas to benefit your organisation? Will this group lead to conflicts or create a healthy, productive work environment open to multiple viewpoints?
- Is your team comprised of people who are too similar? Is there the potential for your entire team to avoid or neglect the same aspects of business operations?
- Does your Board have the knowledge, network of contacts, and business experience you need in order to meet your goals?
- Does your Board look credible to outsiders? Will you be able to attract prospective business partners, investors, or other managers in the future?
- Does your Board include individuals who can provide mentorship and guidance? Do you believe that your team is trustworthy and honest?
Next, begin your search for suitable Board members, either non-executive, part-time or full-time. Ask your advisors, reach out to trade associations, and attend business seminars, exhibitions, conferences, and networking events to help you find the right candidates with qualifications and talent to serve as Directors. You may also want to run advertising on relevant platforms, as well.
You should create a shortlist of candidates, meet with them several times before making a decision, be prepared to answer their questions, check their references and history, and be sure that you understand exactly why they want to serve on your Board. And why you want them there.
As you screen candidates, we recommend putting a detailed and thorough agreement into place, which outlines what is expected of them and the terms of their employment.
Finally, you must determine if your candidate will have adequate time or resources to serve your needs. Investors sometimes will join your Board in exchange for capital, and many individuals who sit on a number of a Boards may largely be unavailable. Be sure that you know exactly how active they plan to be, and how they want to be compensated for their work.