By Donya Parrish
A couple weeks ago, I mentioned the great discussion that was held during the director forum at Power Up. The ideas on new board member recruitment really impressed me, and I wanted to share them in case they could be helpful to your credit union in your own process.
The best advice given was to “always be actively looking.” Even if you don’t anticipate an opening on your board, it can happen, and sometimes it happens suddenly, leaving you little time to fill a vacancy. Having a plan or a few names to choose from can ease the transition.
Other suggestions on recruitment included the following:
- Put together criteria of the skills or attributes you are looking for in a new board member;
- Focus on younger members, but try to bring them in to serve on a committee first so they don’t have to commit as much time (they will also learn about the credit union in the process);
- Try to draw your search from a variety of trades and professions, and also look at any other communities you are serving to see if you can get a broader geographic representation, too;
- Ask employees for referrals;
- Focus on local leadership development programs and participants who are looking to serve on a board (chamber leadership classes, Biz to Biz groups, etc.);
- Ensure you have remote options for meeting attendance to allow some flexibility for those who might travel but want to serve the credit union; and
- Start an associate board member program. This can allow an interested party to come on the board in a non-voting seat and learn and observe from the current board until such time that a vacancy occurs.
As the blog noted last week, diversity can be the key to a successful credit union. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box to find engaged board members. There is also plenty of talent and experience across the state for them to draw from if needed. Contact us if we can help facilitate mentoring.