Advice for first-time Board candidates from an Executive Search recruiter

During the 2024 Global Meeting of IIC Partners in Panama City, Renee Arrington, NACD.DC, Vice Chair Americas of IIC Partners and President & COO of Pearson Partners International discussed board search assignments and shared some insights. The first question she was asked was “What do you look for in first-time board candidates?”

  • “What experience does that candidate have with a board of directors? Do they report to that board? Have they attended and presented at meetings? So, what’s their experience base in terms of their current employer’s board?”
  • “Have they taken the opportunity to gain any board governance certifications? There are many organizations that offer such certifications. For example, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) has a certified directorship program. The Private Directors Association and 50/50 Women on Boards also offer board readiness training. Lots of groups provide such training.”
  • “Do they have any references from CEOs with whom or for whom they’ve worked over the years that say, ‘Hey, this candidate really is board ready’?”