How did I secure my non-executive appointment? Network, network, network
Are you looking to secure your next board appointment, there are 3 avenues for you to consider. One of them is: networking. With this thought in mind, be sure to review the following networking strategies so you can optimise your search for roles.
1. Join relevant organisations, industry associations and professional bodies
If you’re serious about getting your first non-executive director position, this is a highly effective strategy to implement. When you join a NED club or association, you’ll be able to meet other non-executive directors as well as numerous business professionals who can play a direct or indirect role in jumpstarting your career. NEDonBoard is the professional membership and development body for non-executive directors and board members. We maintain a jobs board with roles on offer for you to apply, get interviews and be appointed. We organise events to that you connect with other board members as well as organisations looking to appoint non-execs or advisory board members.
2. Attend conferences and lectures
Attending relevant conferences and lectures is another effective strategy you can employ for the purpose of gaining your first NED position. When you attend a conference or lecture within the field you’re seeking work, you will likely run into board members and business professionals who are interested in hiring someone or who know another individual who is attempting to do so. To make the most of this strategy, be sure that you bring your business card to each conference or lecture you attend. Remember, proximity is power. NEDonBoard hosts events to enable connections that may result in your appointment.
3. Contact a recruitment agency
Recruiting companies are also a networking strategy you can utilise to land your first non-executive director role. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that recruiting companies might be mandated for a specific appointments. But remember that executive search firms and recruitment agency are not working for you; they are remunerated by the organisations looking to appoint a non-executive director, public appointee and board trustee.
Related post: Harness the power of networking to secure non-executive roles – An interview with Geraint Davies CBE FCA
New to the non-executive director role? We invite you to watch our acclaimed webinar How to secure your first NED role. Registration link here.
Experienced NEDs looking for positions and professional development opportunities, book a consultation at this link and subscribe to the newsletter We look forward to connecting with you.
Here is my advice. Be persistent. Finding your first non-executive director role can be challenging because of the experience catch-22. (You need experience to get hired, but companies want you to have experience before they hire you.) Keep networking and building your resume until you find a company that recognizes your potential and gives you the opportunity to assist them.
Sometimes it’s not who you know, it’s what you know. Specifically, people oftentimes think their first key to finding a great non-exec position is meeting all the right individuals. However, it’s even more important that you have a great deal of knowledge throughout the job hunting process. For example, if you’re attempting to attend a lecture or conference for networking purposes, it’s important to get background information regarding what that meeting will be all about to ensure that you’ll connect with ideal individuals within your industry.