In looking for non-executive director roles, it’s important to know what value you bring to a board, and what particular experience and expertise a particular board is looking to cover.
It’s a common theme, when engaging with those who are looking for a non-executive role, to be hold ‘I’ve got lots to offer a board’. When drilling deeper though, it becomes apparent that, sometimes, very little research has been done by the individual and that there is an expectation that roles will simply come to them. For some, this may be the case – if you’ve reached board level on large corporate boards, you may well find yourself headhunted for a non-exec role, and for many within the SME world, roles come through those you know. However, for many, coming by a non-executive role requires going through a process of personal branding, understanding what boards are looking for, and understanding what you have to offer a board as a non-executive director. It can take time, effort, and an element of also making sure people know that you’re available for roles.
A useful exercise can be to review current NED and trustee roles, such as those on the NEDonBoard website, to see what skills and experience boards are looking for. For example, some roles will stipulate NEDs with a digital background or HR expertise; for others it may be for non-execs who have been through a particular phase in business. This can help you refine what you have to offer, what roles might best suit you and where you may also need to consider further development.
As well as an online NED and trustee jobs board, you can engage and establish connections with your fellow NED and board level professionals at NEDonBoard’s regular NED panel discussions and networking events.
To develop further your knowledge and skills and qualify as a professional NED, please visit our training page and sign up to membership. The NED Accelerator Programme is a course designed for first-time non-executive directors to fast track their transition to a NED role.