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The trustee recruitment process

Recruiting the right trustees involves a formal and organised process and can be considered in a similar way to how you would recruit staff to your organisation and the formal process of recruitment. It should be a professional and planned process in order to ensure the best chances of success.

What do you need in place before you start?

  1. Check your governing document- this will tell you the upper limit for the amount of trustees you are allowed, how your trustees must be appointed and term length for trustees.
  2. Agreement from your current committee on recruiting new trustees and an agreement on what the priorities are for the new recruits.
  3. A plan for the timing of the process and an idea of who is doing what. Responsibilities such as shortlisting, interviewing and inducting will be needed.
  4. An advert.
  5. An information pack, including role description.
  6. Shortlisting criteria.

Who do you need on your board?

Carry out a board audit by working out the skills you already possess on your board and finding the gaps within these skills.

  1. What skills and experience do you have around the board already?
  2. What challenges and opportunities is your charity likely to be facing in the next five years? What skills do you need to navigate these and why?
  3. What is the gap between what you have and what you want to achieve? Will this change because of current trustees standing down at some point?
  4. Think abut whether the specific skills you need have to be held by a board member or do you need a volunteer, paid staff or a consultant?

Be careful not to frame this as a criticism of the current board, it is rather about strengthening and building resilience to benefit the organisation and make it better equipped to face future challenges