The Mikuska Group  

“Bums in seats” recruitment doesn’t work

Small and large organizations often take a “bums in seats” approach to recruiting board members, with predictable results.

“C’mon, sit on our board. It’s only two hours a month and you won’t have to do anything outside the meeting.”

If you get a board member based on that job description, you get what you deserve: an unengaged, uninvolved non-ambassador. If you tell them it’s “only two hours a month” and then it turns out you need them to sit on committees or task forces or plan events, you shouldn’t be surprised when they walk away from that commitment.

Board members need to know what they are getting into and what’s realistically expected of them. They need to know what the board does and what it doesn’t do. They need to know what kind of support they can expect and what orientation they’ll receive.

Most people want to make a real difference if they’re asked to be on a board. They need your respect of their time, their interest and their expertise. ┬áSo if you’re only asking them to occupy a chair, neither of you will end up being satisfied.

Julie Mikuska

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