How To Manage Vacancies on Your Board

The board of any company plays a crucial role in an organization’s management strategy.


Board vacancies arise under different circumstances from time to time. It is, therefore, necessary to put in place a system that governs the company policy. This will help streamline the management of vacancies on an organization’s board. It will also allow for a steady flow of competent people within the organization, thus relieving the company of any pressure to find a replacement.

It is needless to say that any organization’s performance is directly dependent on the policy decisions arrived at the board level. The benefits of such successful boards are many – the most important ones being maintaining effective leadership, having a solid, robust management strategy, and keeping control of general affairs. However, one of the more complex aspects of board development can be filling board vacancies.

Here are some thoughts on how a business can best manage filling vacancies

  • Be Clear About What Kind of Board You Are Building

Before you search for the ideal candidate, your business needs to identify its requirements for this vacancy. These requirements can be identified through surveys and/or an evaluation of the current board. Insights from this can help define the role, expectations, and responsibilities, which will be in the job description. Ultimately, the description for the vacant board post can include details such as characteristics, skills, qualifications, experience, and general duties.

Additionally, you may consider including company values, missions, and goals. This information can help candidates visualize what kind of board the organization is looking to build. Finally, it is helpful to include information such as code of conduct expectations, mentoring, and meeting notices. This sets the expectations of the role right from the beginning for all stakeholders involved.

  • Have a Process for Nominating Directors

While a board vacancy is available, it is key to have a process in place. It helps take the pressure off the decision makers, ensures transparency for all stakeholders, and avoids rushed recruitment.

It is common practice for companies to rely on the CEO or other board members to identify candidates from their network, to streamline the process and to ensure that critical areas are addressed before approaching candidates.

It is pertinent that the correct person is selected to manage the recruitment for vacancies.


Designing and following a timely process will make recruitment more efficient and more accessible for anyone to follow. Throughout the recruitment, you can consult with the board for referrals or any other form of involvement, as long as it follows the timeline designed and transparency is maintained.

  • Communicate Your Values to Candidates Clearly

The board needs to understand a company’s values, missions, and goals. This helps them establish a clear communications strategy for the company. A lack of understanding in this situation can lead to contradicting communication about the brand with different stakeholders.

Therefore, during the recruitment process, it is recommended that clear communication of the company values are made known to the candidates. This opportunity can be used to evaluate and understand if the candidates resonate with and understand the company values, missions, and goals.

  • Take Your Time Before You Hire Someone New

One of the key takeaways from any recruitment process is not to make decisions in haste. Having a defined process can assist in finding the right candidate, however, taking your time to find the right fit is crucial. It also allows the organization to evaluate the existing board and identify any challenges that a new board member could help address.

In summary, there are different approaches for board recruitment and many different ways to build a board. It is essential to map out a suitable process and use an approach that best fits your business owner or manager. This ensures a timely approach and encourages collaboration and transparency, resulting in recruiting the right candidate.