Situation: A company’s current directors are all insiders. The CEO wants to bring in an outside director for greater perspective, someone who can help the company grow to the next level. What should they look for? How do you recruit an outside director?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Look for an individual at a company in a similar market segment that is the revenue size that you want to be and which is selling to the same customers that you do. You want their sales process to be similar in type and complexity of sale but non-competitive with your company.
- This can be an inactive founder or past employee who has been in GM role with P&L responsibility.
- Write a list of the needs that you want this person to fulfill. Use this to evaluate prospective candidates.
- Is it OK to hire a stranger?
- Before you speak with a candidate, research their background and reputation.
- You want someone who can provide information and a perspective that you don’t have now. During the selection process you will get to know the person.
- Consider a high level individual from a company that has been a top customer. This individual can help you understand how you are viewed in the market, and how you can enhance your positioning and competitiveness.
- Have lunch with a local recruiter who regularly recruits directors for companies. Get their perspective on how to select an outside director and what to look for in a candidate.