Trouble at the Top: How to Soothe the Pain Points for Board Recruitment

* This article is sponsored by OnBoard; a board management program that frees boards and leadership teams to make better decisions and pursue bold action. To find out more about OnBoard, visit their website or email

Boards directors are under ever-growing pressures that are impacting recruitment and talent retention considerably. We are in a changing world and boards need to oversee the importance of cybersecurity, sustainable finance oversight, diversity goals and steering an organisation back from a pandemic-driven lull. The impact of the pandemic is causing a rethink of talent and life choices not only in the general workforce but now at board level. So how can organisations, who are under pressure to deliver results, recruit the talent they need to lead their board?

Why has board recruitment become so hard at the moment?

The major issue that organisations are grappling with is the vast amount of experience that candidates need to provide real support and direction to the board – this is in addition to a wealth of regulatory knowledge that is also required. Boards are also currently struggling with the upcoming skills gap and labour shortage, which will eventually hit all sectors as the next generation of talent is moving away from a top-down corporate method of leadership to one that is more collaborative. Now and most definitely in the coming years, this will see a pinch-point in the amount of available talent to move up to a board-level role.

The shortage of experienced directors and advisors also isn’t helped by the increasing digitisation and need for constant cybersecurity. Talented executives know how in-demand their skills are and so can dictate the exact terms and conditions of their career moves.

How technology can support your board

Any team, particularly one as influential as a board, needs a well-rounded set of skills to have the most impact on a company’s future and this is why planning for recruiting is key. Subsequently, a ‘skills tracking’ feature is critical in any software selected as it allows companies to quickly identify skills gaps and ensure that board hires provide diversity of thought and varying perspectives.

When recruiting for the board, organisations also want to retain key board members and their valuable skills – technology can also help here. The pandemic changed the way a lot of people worked and this is doubly so for executives, where the logistics and minutiae of their day has moved almost completely online. Software’s ease of use on any platform is essential as some board member’s day-to-day might include sitting on many boards simultaneously.

Security, particularly as so many of us are moving to online working, is key. However, at executive level it is paramount and that is why board members using this type of software should benefit from enterprise-grade, industrial-strength, penetration-tested architecture.

The future of board recruitment

Board members play a pivotal role in the future direction of a company so their hiring should be thoroughly considered and once onboard, they should be afforded all the support available. Fortunately, software can play a role in this as well as shaping the future of a company, whether your business is looking to recruit and retain board staff using a board intelligence platform or develop talent to begin their governance journey through a ‘nurturing program’.

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