At some point in time all of us will be asking ourselves, how can we recruit active, involved board members? A good response to the question is, “How would you like to be recruited?”
The seriousness with which a board member is recruited and selected is directly proportional to the seriousness with which that board member fulfills his or her role. So if you want to recruit people who are serious about governing the organization, you must take recruitment seriously. Following are the steps to take.
If you recruit someone who may be confused about their role, uninformed about the decisions they well be asked to make, or unaware of the board's way of doing business. Certainly, this could very well be a recipe for an inactive board member.
The seriousness with which a board member is recruited and selected is directly proportional to the serious ness with which that board member fulfills his or her role. So if you want to recruit people who are serious about governing the credit union, you must take recruitment seriously. Here are some recommended steps to take:
DEFINE THE BOARD MEMBER'S JOB
Develop a one to two page job description that suits the credit union at this point in its lifecycle. Outline the basic responsibilities of each board member, as well as the expectations related to each of the three hats (governance, implementation, and volunteer) a board member wears.
AGREE ON THE PROFILE OF THE FUTURE BOARD
The board should describe what the "dream team" it envisions will look like in a few years. For example, describe minimums, maximums, or percentages for whatever characteristics are important for your organization. These could include age, gender, and minority representation, as well as lay versus professional, rural versus urban and other demographic variables.
DEVELOP QUALIFICATIONS FOR SERVING
After the board member profile has been created by the governance committee and approved by the entire board, use it to identify current or projected gaps in the desired experience and qualifications of board members.
ADOPT A PLAN TO IDENTIFY AND NURTURE PROSPECTS
Using your expectations and needed qualifications as a guide, come up with a list of the people who might be best for the board at this time.
Once you have a list of people who meet most qualifications, find meaningful ways to involve them as volunteers before asking them to join the board.
Gradually expand the prospective board member's involvement in the organization.
HAVE A RIGOROUS NOMIMATION PROCESS
The governance committee is now ready to consider a slate of known talent to fill the most critical needs on the board. Look at balance. Determine who could be groomed for a key leadership role down the road, knowing who is likely to leave the board.
TAKE BOARD ELECTION AND NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION SERIOUSLY
Make the actual election and welcoming event memorable for new board members. These first impressions will last a long time.