In preparation for a series of interviews with Non-Executive Directors (including independent ones i.e. iNEDs) for my profession’s magazine, I’ve been doing research around the topic, and came across a helpful report by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in South Africa. The report is based on an online survey by the IoD on the recruitment, selection and appointment process for NEDs. It also references a spread of international reports for those interested in wider reading, and concludes with an overview of advice for potential NEDs and advice for nomination committees themselves.
In this article, I focus on its advice for individuals rather than the companies. Some of the advice is specific to NED roles (such as treating the interview as a discussion among potential peers), while some is relevant to general job applications as well (such as tailoring your application to the role and its requirements). In future months, we’ll share with our readers aspects of my interviews with individual NEDs, their career journeys and their tips for others considering becoming NEDs too, after publication in the professional magazine.
Read more to explore the reasons companies search for new NEDs and where they look, the attributes required of NED candidates, and the IoD’s advice on preparing your application, preparing for the interviews, considering an offer, and adding value once on board.
A number of our members have expressed an interest in Non-Executive Director roles as part of their longer-term career development, particularly as the composition of boards is changing over time to become more diverse across many dimensions including gender, background, and age.
In support of these members’ ambitions, this post shares some questions individuals can ask before considering a non-executive directorship.
Boards of organisations (companies and other) consist of two main types of directors. The first is those who work for the organisation on a day-to-day basis, making decisions, leading the organisation, and implementing the organisation’s strategy. They are executive directors, and we’ve previously written about lessons learnt from shadowing executives. Executive assistant / business manager roles are a great way for ambitious talent to gain exposure to executive decision-making at an earlier stage in their careers.