This is a follow-up to the October issue of the Family Business Advisor, which presents the non-strategic value of directors. We are often so focused on finding “the best” director candidates, that not a lot of thought is given to the circumstances under which they will find our family business attractive. How do we appeal to outstanding directors?
The list can be very lengthy, but there are a number of questions we often get from the candidates we try to recruit – some food for thought:
- Is there currently a functioning board in place?
- Are there other independent directors, or would I be the only one?
- Does the family really want outside advice or are they just attempting to appease a group of shareholders?
- Have they developed specific expectations for this position?
- How would you describe the communication within the family (collaborative, conflictive, for example)?
- Does the business have a strategic plan?
- How would you describe the leadership style of the current Chair? The current CEO?
Remember that board candidates are interviewing you and your business as well. They want to commit to a board that works well together, knows how to be productive, and presents a culture that is aligned with their own values and business principles. So getting your ducks in a row prior to your search is a good way to send the right message to great candidates!