How to Attract Top Talent to Your Board of Directors


Apr 15

Attracting top talent to your organization’s Board of Directors can be challenging, particularly if you are not able to offer compensation. You must have a strategy in place for both the candidate search and the interview process. Below are some insights that can help to make the process easier for both you and your candidates.

Define Your Culture

Identify the characteristics of your board. Each organization has a unique culture, and you need to focus on candidates who are a fit and are passionate about your mission.

Identify Important Qualifications

Clarify the role and the responsibilities you need to fill. There is no use finding someone who is perfectly suited to your organization but cannot provide the expertise you are missing. You can review the qualifications of the person previously in the role to get an idea of what kind of experience is useful.

Avoid candidates who are overqualified for the position. Your members must have a stake in the organization that keeps them active and committed.

Build a Character Profile

Evaluate the kind of character qualities the role requires–leadership, teamwork, humility, etc. Personality has a significant impact on your board’s ability to hold meaningful discussions, reach consensus, and maintain stability.

Know Your Candidate’s Motivation

The right candidate will have both a personal and an altruistic reason to join your board. Personal reasons may include the desire to gain experience, change industries, make an impact on an issue that affects them, or build a resume of community service for political or professional reasons. Altruistic reasons could include the desire to enact change or a passion for the community. If your board serves a corporate entity, look for someone who truly cares about the business and wants to help it succeed.

Search the Right Channels

Once you have a clear profile of your candidate, look for places where this type of individual would serve or work. Seek recommendations from your network and similar organizations and search for active members of the community. Consider that the right member may not be on a typical job board.

Present Meaningful Benefits

When you reach out to candidates, pitch a “package” of meaningful benefits of the position. This could include important responsibilities, training opportunities, and community exposure.

Remember that people want to join a healthy entity. Ensure that your board is organized and has a strong culture and that your members are active and passionate. Highlight any members that have an impressive resume or notoriety, as people like to serve with individuals they admire.

Don’t Jump to a Decision

Finally, make sure that you take the time to properly consider your candidates. It is better to be short a member than to have the wrong member because your decision will affect the health of both the board and the organization. Stick to your candidate profile, and if there are a few compromises to be made, make sure they are not things that will affect your board’s performance.

For more information on how to manage your board members effectively, visit

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