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Recruiting Board Members (Credit Union Article) | DDJ Myers

Someone recently said to me:
“Recruiting board members?
I thought recruiting is what
boards did when they looked for
a CEO. I had never thought about finding
new board members as ‘recruiting.’” But
boards are responsible for more than filling
the CEO position — they are responsible
for finding and training new board
members. Learn more at:

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Recruiting Board Members (Credit Union Article) | DDJ Myers

  1. 1. inside nafcuservicesRecruiting Board MembersBy Michael SessionsS omeone recently said to me: “Recruiting board members? I thought recruiting is what Board succession planning is a process that boards did when they looked fora CEO. I had never thought about finding requires intention, attention and board members as ‘recruiting.’” Butboards are responsible for more than fill-ing the CEO position — they are respon- Other credit unions believe open recruit- Your membership relies on each boardsible for finding and training new board ing is problematic. They find that vetting member to function properly at all times,members. and qualifying members for a board post even in the event of unplanned depar- can be difficult. Turning away or turn- tures. To make this happen, follow theseBoard succession planning is a process ing down members, they suggest, has steps:that requires intention, attention and unintended negative consequences. Theseeffort. It’s about putting systems in place credit unions prefer that board members n Add succession planning to your boardto ensure that the right people are in the keep their eyes open for members who agenda.right place at the right time. It means might be qualified and have an interest n Talk about diversity.aligning the strategic and governance in serving. Names are forwarded to theneeds of the board with the talent secretary, who keeps a running list. n Consider an open versus a closed process.required to carry out those needs. Thisis the duty of the board, not staff or Closed recruiting takes place when the n Decide on what a person must knowmanagement. open position is not announced publicly. before voting. We have found that a closed process tendsIt’s not enough to find good people. Board to produce candidates who are “like me.” n Sketch out a timeline for the entiremembers must be educated so that they People who are known and are liked process.understand the credit union, policy and are more apt to be recommended. Withgovernance before they begin voting. The the demographic of credit union boards n Consider unplanned board departures.transition should appear seamless and being predominantly white males 61 years n Write a policy on board succession.not disrupt the credit union or board’s of age, it is important to be intentionalfunction. This requires forethought and about the process you undertake and the If you do this, you will have started downplanning to ensure that recruitment and outcome you hope to achieve. the road of giving board succession thenew member orientation policies remain intention, planning and effort your mem-active. Steps to Success bers expect. It may take longer than anticipated toRecruitment Tactics recruit, vet through the nominating com- Michael D. Sessions, Ph.D., is senior viceTwo recruiting methods exist: One is mittee, approve through the entire board president with DDJ and the other is closed. Open simply and orient a new board member. Ourmeans you announce positions in the experience suggests that it takes aboutnewspaper or on your website. We know one year for a person from recruitmentof credit unions that openly advertise for through orientation — including learn-board positions. They receive numer- ing governance and building familiarityous responses from a diverse group of with the implications of policy — to themembers and are able to solidify good moment they feel fully informed when it’scandidates. time to vote.54 The Federal Credit Union January–february 2013