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Chair  |  Leadership (purpose, values, culture)  |  NED recruitment

Recruiting an excellent board chair in 6 steps


Recruiting an excellent board chair is an important task, as the chair plays a key role in leading the board and guiding the organisation. In this blog, we give you 6 steps you can take to recruit an excellent board chair.

Define the role. The process to recruit the chair that will lead your board and organisation starts with the definition of the role and its requirements. Your role specification should include the specific skills, experiences and attributes that your organisation and board require. NEDonBoard recommends that time is spent on ensuring the role specification provides sufficient details for potential candidates to assess their fit.

Identify potential candidates. Look for individuals who have the skills, experience, and abilities that are necessary to effectively lead the board. You may want to consider candidates from within the organisation (typically one of the existing NEDs), as well as external candidates, whom can be sourced from NED organisations, like NEDonBoard. You may also contact professionals from your network; though, the broader your search, the greater your ability to select the best talents.

Design your interview process. Once the role specification is out and as you start receiving applications, establish a process to interview the candidates. Who is best placed to interview candidates? What questions will you ask? How will you rate the answers? Design a fair and objective process, which you can explain to your stakeholders and stand by.

Conduct interviews. Take the time to interview potential candidates to ensure that they are a good fit for the role. This should include discussing their experience, skills, and vision for the organisation, and more importantly their ability to lead and work effectively with the board. Chemistry with the other board members and the senior management team are additional considerations.

Seek input from a broad range of individuals, including the board members. This can help ensure that the decision is made with the input and support of the entire board.

Make the decision. As you offer the position to the chosen candidate, communicate the expectations and responsibilities of the role. You may also explain the onboarding process and detail the support that the new chair will receive.

What are your next steps?

Looking to recruit your next board chair, we invite you to consider the recruitment services offered by NEDonBoard. The Enhanced and Targeted Listing options are best to attract diverse and high-caliber applications.

Looking to step into a board chair role, then sign up to Chairship by NEDonBoard, Institute of Board Members to develop your practice as chair. The course is also designed for:

  • NEDs wanting to understand better the role of the chair and increase their effectiveness as NED;
  • NEDs looking to step up and secure a chair role;
  • Recently appointed chairs that have not completed a training dedicated to their role.

Already qualified and looking to apply for chair vacancies, then access the jobs board, one of the features of the NEDonBoard membership.  

Written by Elise Perraud


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    Discover further information by downloading our brochure.