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Men in Suits
  • Directors' Institute

How to Find Board Positions

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

After you've earned your certification as a director and created an impressive CV, the next step is to put yourself out there and apply for board seats.

There are certain locations to begin, and in this guide, we will provide you with practical advice on how to succeed and find compensated board jobs.

Your first objective, like with any other job search, is to assess your career to date and ensure that your experience and talents are reflected on your CV and LinkedIn profile.

Board Position

Volunteer board roles are an excellent method to gain experience before joining a business board as a non-executive director. Read this article to learn how to join a non-profit board of directors.

When applying for positions on corporate boards, it is critical to understand the duties and obligations of a non-executive director. The post of non-executive director (NED) places a premium on your communication skills, personality, and capacity to persuade, rather than your professional accomplishments.

Consider this: the NED must be a strong, independent, yet useful voice in the boardroom.

Do you, for example, feel comfortable questioning terrible decisions? Do you have strong diplomatic abilities? Do you have good persuasive skills?


You should exhibit your independent thinking, capacity to get things done, and willingness to make sound decisions throughout your CV and LinkedIn page.

NEDs must still have a diverse range of executive experience:

  • They must remain very independent and pose provocative, often tricky questions for the interest of the shareholders.

  • They must have strong interpersonal and communication abilities.

  • They should be prepared not only to listen but also to speak up.


How to Find Non-Executive Director and Board Positions


You can find executive search agencies that specialise in NED recruiting and board roles by conducting an online search.

Most well-known organisations provide NED recruitment services to assist you in finding a job on a board.

Here are some choices for you to consider.

Directors' Institute, for example, offers a specialised search for non-executive directors and board chairs. Directors' Institute provides information and support at every stage of the search process, whether you are an experienced non-executive director or looking for your first non-executive director post.


Other executive search firms include:

  • Spencer Stuart

  • UK public appointments

  • State Boards Ireland

  • Board Match

  • Principal Connections

  • The Guardian

  • Board Appointments UK

  • Dynamic Boards UK

  • Odgers and Berndtson

As shown above, numerous executive search firms concentrate on NED recruitment.

The primary benefit of employing a headhunter is that you are asked to join the company rather than apply for it. This could improve your relationship with the CEO and help you get the board position you want.

NED and board positions are also frequently advertised in the press, particularly in the recruitment sections of The Financial Times, The Times, The Irish Times, and The Guardian.


Boards are increasingly looking for non-traditional NEDs


With increased scrutiny of public business leadership, corporations are feeling pressure to get ahead of the curve by analysing and modifying the makeup of their boards.

Business leaders, particularly those from underrepresented groups and with unconventional backgrounds, are in high demand right now.

For decades, boards of directors were nearly entirely comprised of CEOs, CFOs, or existing board members from similar organizations, and they were primarily white men of a specific age.

Several developments are combining in the current economy to make board members more accessible than ever before, creating chances for executives who have not held C-suite positions.

Diverse boardrooms result in stronger corporate performance, according to research, and diversity isn't just about gender and ethnicity.

Diverse board candidates can provide unique views and talents that are especially welcome, if not critical, in today's corporate environment.

To better comprehend opportunities, foresee problems, assess risks, and analyse the ramifications of various actions, businesses must have a diverse set of viewpoints and experiences at the table. This tendency may favour nontraditional candidates.

Companies are also under increased external demand to diversify their board of directors. Goldman Sachs, for example, has stated that it will not underwrite IPOs for companies with all-white male boards.

All publicly traded corporations headquartered in California are required to have at least one female director.

BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, has actively urged for at least two women to be on the boards of companies in which it invests.

Glass Lewis, a proxy agency, votes against firms that do not have at least one female director on their boards.


How to Get Noticed for a Board Position


Make a name for yourself: Your credentials and talents have most likely been developed over time. Unfortunately, this is insufficient. Don't be embarrassed to tell people about the value you brought to previous organisations and to express your desire to obtain non-executive director posts. To increase your visibility, speak at conferences and publish publications. You should start building your brand early on and keep doing so throughout your career.

Create new relationships and strengthen current ones: The majority of board members are appointed because of their existing contacts in the area of executive leadership. You can approach persons who are already on boards, executives, or advisors, such as outside counsel, in the organisation you want to work for. LinkedIn and other social media sites can be useful in this regard. Check that all of your contacts are up to date.

Determine your area of expertise: A growing number of businesses are seeking board members with experience in emerging disciplines such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cybersecurity. Companies are also seeking employees that are educated about digital transformation and customer insights.

Participate in organisations: You will gain leadership insights, board opportunities, exclusive events, CPD mentorship, and the opportunity to network with active board members who can give practical advice about real-world issues.

Look for the best possible opportunity: Board service necessitates a substantial time commitment. Do not take the first opportunity that comes your way. Consider whether this is a position in which you can grow and make a big contribution depending on your strengths.

Take the Corporate Governance Diploma: One of the most significant measures you can do is to become familiar with how boards operate and your obligations as a director. A Diploma in Corporate Governance will prepare you to be a successful and in-demand member of a board of directors.


Our Directors’ Institute- World council of Directors can help you accelerate your board journey by training you on your roles and responsibilities to be carried out in an efficient manner helping you to make a significant contribution to the board and raise corporate governance standards within the organization.


Our ESG Expert certification will help you to amplify your understanding of corporate governance in a detailed manner paving a way for you to become a globally recognized ESG leader.



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