This feature of our blog is where our in-house readers share tips, anecdotes and thoughts about things that come up in their daily practice. We received so much feedback on our first blog about director recruiting that we now have this Part 2:
- “Once we narrow our search to a pool of three top candidates, the Nominating Committee Chair and the CEO rank the candidates and begin interviewing the top three. Or if none are acceptable, we provide feedback to the recruiting firm so that additional candidates may be identified. And back to the drawing board we go.” – Sally Struthers Doe
- “When we narrow our choices down to a final candidate, they are asked to complete a director nominee questionnaire for the Corporate Secretary, allowing for a full independence check as well as a determination of other relevant matters (such as financial literacy for Audit Committee members, special information required if the company owns nuclear power facilities, has government contracts, etc.) and to support proxy statement and other required disclosures.” – Benny Hill Doe
- “Before you do anything else, do the hard work of figuring out what your board needs to be in the future. Look at where your company will be going in the coming decade. Expanding outside the US? Trying to attract more diverse consumers? What do the investors you want to attract look for in a board? Doing that in-depth analysis informs the design of an optimal board for your company.
Then, take a hard look at your current board composition. How does it compare to your optimal board? Where are the gaps? Work to go beyond just filling those gaps. Aspire to build a board of complementary experiences (broadly defined), perspectives (broadly defined), and skills.” – Penny Lane Doe
- “Everybody is all about grids these days. Grids are great, but they have some limitations. When recruiting new directors, you are looking for people who will be effective directors.
Look for people who understand and take seriously the role of the board (as distinguished from management), have a sense for and comfort with complexity and uncertainty, value diverse points of view and perspectives – and are willing to learn from them, can work with different styles and adapt to different personalities, take the long view. Most importantly, you are looking for people with excellent judgment, decision-making skills, and ability to assess and coach talent.” – Siegfried Roy Doe
- “I worry about director candidates with “soft skills” that aren’t considered adequate. Screening out directors, and employees in general, who have apparent deficits in communication or prioritization sounds like a great way to exclude neurodiverse candidates. We need all kinds of thinkers to do our best work.
Neurodiverse candidates often have valuable perspective BECAUSE they see things differently. They can bring intense focus and expertise, as well as the ability not to fall into crowd-thinking, which sound like great qualities for a director or an employee. I realize that’s not a simple story, but it’s one I’d like to start hearing more about.” – Donald Glover Doe
- “Some companies have challenges obtaining good director candidates because of the industry they’re in. Or because the company recently had a highly publicized scandal. These companies can’t be as choosy as others and wind up taking on directors that they otherwise might not have. The recruiting process for them is far different in that they are trying to sell the company to candidates rather than the other way around.” – Eva Longoria Doe