Tips For Recruiting And Onboarding New Directors

Julie Daum, leader of Spencer Stuart’s North American Board Practice, and Maria Morris, board member with S&P Global and Wells Fargo, discuss recruitment best practices.

This is Part 1 in our series on recruiting & onboarding new directors:

  1. Tips for Recruiting and Onboarding New Directors
  2. Elements of an Effective Onboarding Program

In Part 1 of our series on board recruitment and onboarding, we sit down with Julie Daum, leader of Spencer Stuart’s North American Board Practice, and Maria Morris, board member with S&P Global and Wells Fargo, to discuss best practices as the faces around today’s board table are beginning to change.

“I think we are in a dynamic world that’s changing very quickly…,” said Daum. “What you see is a movement away from the traditional director candidate of a sitting CEO. People are thinking much more about people with digital experience, tech experience, AI, data analytics–things that are important to all businesses and don’t [yet] reside in the boardroom.”

Daum describes how the new director profile has begun to evolve; board candidates are generally younger–given the skill sets boards are now seeking–and they’re less likely to possess existing board experience.

Morris describes the recruiting and onboarding process for both of her boards: S&P Global and Wells Fargo (which she joined in January 2018). What was her experience? What did she find most helpful? What processes do other boards have in place for onboarding new directors–particularly as the “new director profile” is evolving?

We had days of onboarding with the CEO, the head of strategy, the CFO, and then with each business [unit]. But [both CEOs also] encouraged board members to get into the divisions and meet with people two or three layers down…I looked at talent, how people are actually doing their roles…Do I see [the goals of the company] manifested in the way the business is being run? You can’t do that by the templates you have in the boardroom. To me, that’s been the biggest part of my onboarding is the open door…

— Maria Morris, Board Member, S&P Global and Wells Fargo

Click here to view the full episode.

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