Recruitment is a year-round activity that requires ALL Board members= participation.
Every Board member should keep their ears & eyes open for potential candidates. The
final action of an effective Board is to make sure that when Annual Meeting time rolls
around, there are some great new Board members ready to take over where parting Board
members left off!
What are the Qualities of an Effective Board?
Before recruiting individuals for the Board, think about what the Board as a group is
charged with, and what will make the Board as a group most able to fulfill its leadership
responsibilities in ways that will benefit the entire co-op. The Board must be able to
work together as a group to fulfill its job description responsibilities, while
representing the diverse interests of the co-op. First figure out what qualities and
skills you want this group to have. Then take a look at what qualities and skills are
lacking overall in the group. Target your recruitment based on filling these gaps.
Who is a good candidate for the Board?
Some members will jump out to you as good candidates for the board. Others will have
more subtle qualities that identify them as a potentially excellent contributors to the
Board. Remember that the Board as a group has a leadership role--the individual Board
members must provide the pieces that fit together to form an effective group, but no
individual Board member is required to have every skill or leadership quality necessary to
the group as a whole. Depending upon the needs of the group, a Agood@ candidate will be
one person for one board, and a very different person for another board! Remember that the
goal is to build an effective group: each individual is only a piece of this! In any case,
some sources of good Board candidates may be:
|People who have participated actively at co-op (or other group) meetings or events.
|People who have shown initiative, diplomacy, knowledge, and judgment in addressing
issues facing your co-op or another group.
|People who are demanding change, and will take on responsibility to effect change.
|People who help a meeting simply by being there---through their Apeople@ skills,
organizational skills, sense of humor, or positive spirit.
|People who inspire trust or are seen as Team Builders
Who is a Good Candidate for the Board? Some Questions to Consider
|What gaps would this person fill in the current Board?
|Why would this person make a good Board member? What will s/he contribute?
|Would this person be interested in serving on the Board? Why or why not?
|Would this person have time for the commitment required? This is important!
|Is this person willing to share power and work constructively with the group?
|Is there any reason this person should not be on the Board?|
How Will We Recruit Members for the Board?
|Prior to the Annual Meeting (preferably several months before the meeting), the Board
should decide on a slate of candidates--based on the gaps/needs of the group-- they would
like to recruit to run for the Board. Current Board members should volunteer to meet one
on one with the candidates to discuss the benefits and responsibilities of serving on the
Board, and to recruit the Member to run for the Board. Some tips:
|Stress vision, achievements, momentum, development. (Not tasks, problems, recurring
crises.) Be enthusiastic. Stress the positive.
|Give the Member a realistic overview of the expectations in terms of time required,
|Let the Member know what strengths you think they would bring to the group, and why
you=re enthusiastic about having her/him on the board specifically.
|Offer to answer any questions they have. Ask them how you can help.
|One last tip: Sometimes the best way to recruit new members to the Board is to commit to
not running yourself! If you've been on the Board for what seems like forever, perhaps it's
time to step down and create space for someone else to take leadership. The change may be
refreshing--to you and the co-op. And you can always run in the future!
Who Will Recruit These Fine Candidates to the Board?
Board recruitment is every Board member=s responsibility. All Board members should see
it as their responsibility to identify and meet with potential candidates. However, you
may want to establish a subcommittee of the current Board (perhaps 3 Board members) who
will act as the nominating committee. The nominating committee takes organizing
responsibility and leadership for the following:
|Plans strategy for Board recruitment
|Establishes qualifications that should be represented in the Board as a group
|Identifies gaps in composition of the current Board
|Identifies potential candidates
|Presents recommendations to the full Board
|Coordinates recruitment interviews
|Orients new Board members to the Board (this is a whole other hand-out!)
|Conducts exit interviews with outgoing Board members: this helps provide positive
closure, solicits constructive criticism and positive feedback, and gives the outgoing
Board member an opportunity to get out their gripes, so that they don't go public with
their gripes, damaging the credibility of the Board.