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Developing a Board Recruitment Plan How does the board recruit board directors that are committed to the organization and possess skills, knowledge and other attributes needed in order for the board to effectively carry out its responsibilities?
Introduction Board governance offers an exciting opportunity to build a nonprofit leadership team around shared values and priorities.
This article on identification and recruitment of board directors will offer a step-by-step approach to take advantage of this opportunity. The first board development practice, and by far the most important, is having an effective board recruitment and nominations process in place.
Most board performance problems can often be traced to the casual or haphazard way that some organizations go about recruiting, selecting and orienting board directors. In many organizations, board recruitment and nominations activities are really ad hoc in nature. Typical bylaw language describes a process in which the board president appoints a nominations committee whose short-term task is to recruit candidates that will fill a specified number of vacancies at the upcoming annual meeting.
A key problem is the traditional nominating committee.
In many organizations, if there even is a formal nominating committee, it typically does little real recruiting work. In contrast to the typical short-term recruitment process that focuses narrowly on filling anticipated board vacancies for the current year, the process that will be described in this article helps to assure that there is a long-range plan for board leadership recruitment and development.
In this approach, the identification and recruitment of organization board directors assumes major importance. More than any other single factor, it will determine the long-term viability of the organization.
This long-range plan for recruiting and developing future board leadership centers on the following questions: Who will be serving on and leading the board over the next three to five years? What is our plan to scout board leadership talent for the future? How will we go about fostering and developing future board leadership?
Elements of an Effective Recruitment Process Here are some of the characteristics of a long-range board recruitment and development process: Because board recruitment and nominations is such an important activity, we need to begin looking at it as a year-round committee function instead of the traditional ad hoc nominations process.
Reflecting this long-range focus, many boards are changing the name of their Nominations Committee to the Board Development Committee because developing leaders includes more than nominating people to serve on our boards.
It truly is an ongoing, year-round function: Link recruitment to the strategic plan. It is important to match board recruitment and development activities with the new requirements and demands called for by the strategic plan.
The ideal time to do this is right after the strategic planning process has been completed. The organization board, or the Board Development Committee, reviews the mission, vision, goals and strategies, and then determines any new skills, knowledge, personal contacts and other attributes future board directors will need to possess in order for the board to do its part in advancing the strategic plan.
Profile the current board. The Board Development Committee can create a profile of the current board using a matrix designed for this purpose.
Key factors that define sought-after expertise, knowledge, skills, experience, as well as relevant demographic factors are arranged down the side of the matrix.
The names of current board directors are listed along the top of the matrix.A comprehensive business plan format guide.
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