Board recruitment during Covid-19: why and how

Date: 07 May 2020

Author: Imogen Sanders, Senior Consultant at Perrett Laver

We are of course in a time of significant upheaval and organisations might be forgiven for thinking that circumstances are less than ideal for effecting change at the top. Certainly, there are important considerations when it comes to going to market for board members in the current climate, but is it possible? Absolutely. There are in fact many reasons why you may want and need to think about going live now.

First, we do not know how long the effects of this pandemic will last and how they will evolve. Continued delays to succession planning may result long-term in a diminished board, with either multiple vacancies or interim leadership focused on short-term survival. To maintain vision and capacity, at a time when these two aspects could make or break an organisation, recruitment may be necessary.

Secondly, it is undeniable that the world is now a very different place, and it will continue to change. As such, it is worth reflecting on your current board composition and using any potential vacancies as an opportunity to recalibrate for the future. Has your future strategic thinking evolved in response to the current circumstances? Are there different skillsets that would enable you better moving forward? What competencies and soft skills have proven most helpful, or what experiences have you felt lacking recently?

Thirdly, whilst there are some instabilities in the market currently, we are finding many people are using additional time to consider personal development, and volunteering culture is at an all-time high. This could therefore be a hugely productive time to seek new non-executives. Potential candidates are more inclined to take on non-executive responsibilities as they are motivated to support key organisations as they navigate the risks ahead. People are looking to contribute and find purpose, and particularly for organisations such as sporting bodies with societal impact, wellbeing and community spirit at the heart, non-executive roles are a great way of giving back. With many compelled to help now, and to support the bounce back of causes that matter to them, there exists great opportunity to capture people’s interest in your mission.

Nonetheless, recruitment cannot simply progress as usual and amendments to process and strategy must be applied.

  • We recommend introducing significantly more touch points with pote

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