Hiring the right Chief Executive is critical for any organisation’s ongoing success and impact, and it is one of the most important duties of a Board. There are many elements of a recruitment and appointment process that need to be managed well. We recommend you decide early on who will lead the process. The Board should select a team responsible for the search, and delegate to this team the authority to run the full process. The Board needs to own the appointment, so the Chair or another Trustee should usually lead.
A change is an excellent opportunity to take stock. You might need a different set of skills and attributes than the outgoing Chief Executive offered. Clarity on what the key criteria should be is so important. Focus on what experience and attributes will be required to futureproof and lead the organisation forward, so do spend some time thinking through this. It will be critical to get the recruitment process itself right. Is search appropriate? If so, you need to select an executive search partner. It’s important to find the right firm to work with as they will be your ambassadors in the market, and should have the appropriate credentials and experience. If you decide not to use external support, make sure the key individuals internally have the time and capability to run a professional process.
What does the final interviewing and assessment process look like? Who will be involved in this? Don’t forget thorough referencing. We always recommend taking up in-depth, verbal references. Once a new Chief Executive has been appointed, they will need to be on-boarded and supported to be successful in the role.
Finally, make sure you allocate enough time, and expect the unexpected. Every recruitment is also a learning opportunity.
Should you wish to discuss any aspects of how to recruit to a Chief Executive or other leadership roles, please do not hesitate to contact us.