Andrew Kingsley of Kingsley Recruitment outlines the benefits of a non-executive director.
The true value of a non-executive director (NED) has become increasingly apparent over recent years. In the past few years it has been SMEs, and not only larger corporations that have embraced the addition of NEDs and their benefits.
However, understandably, the decision to employ a NED and the subsequent hiring process can be difficult. Choosing the right NED for your organisation is paramount; flawed decisions prove costly. Your NED must provide assistance and guidance, whilst also networking on your behalf to make their appointment financially beneficial.
The right NED will work with you and your organisation to develop and grow for further success.
Why appoint a NED?
- Skills and Experience
Complimentary talent to the existing board can fill gaps in skill sets and will contribute to further strategic growth and success. NEDs are experienced entrepreneurs, and can provide confident advice and guidance on issues that may be hampering your business. You can rest assured that your NED will have dealt with a similar problem before – or know somebody who has! Their input will rationalise matters and ensure clear tasks are set to bring about an appropriate conclusion thus actively contributing to business in a specific way.
- Stay Connected
The most successful organisations are those best connected. Experienced NEDs bring with them a lifetime of useful contacts, that can be used for your benefit. It can be difficult to fit in all the networking to optimise your contact list. Your NED can make beneficial introductions and provide warm leads for you to capitalise on.
- An Objective Opinion
NEDs will only work a few days per month to ensure they remain objective. The best directors are passionate about their organisations. However, it is easy to become a victim of this passion. NEDs are able to provide the impartial advice that is so often required when making difficult decisions and ensure business directors consider profits, and not simply turnover. Their priority is strategy, a concept which can often be lost in the trials of day to day management. A NED ensures company direction is on course, targets are met and plans are enforced.
- Stay on Track
Even the most successful boards fall into bad habits. Board meetings can easily become embroiled in day-to-day operational problems. The right NED for your business will moderate overbearing members and drive others. Regular board meetings bring about further business development, but it is those that are structured strategically that will see the most success.
- Honesty is the Best Policy
Office politics can be a tricky matter. A NED does not have to worry about such issues. Their distance ensures their critique is unbiased and constructive. Directors are safe in the knowledge that they are not doing so because of a personal agenda but for the good of the business. A NED ensures board conflict is resolved and guarantees that the board is acting for the good of the company as a whole.
- Be the Best!
It can often take an objective viewpoint to ensure employees are prioritising effectively, and more importantly, working to their potential. Identification of strategic and individual assets and weaknesses ensures each individual is playing to their strengths, thus driving company growth and development.
NEDs can improve credibility of the business to key clients, stakeholders and even key employees. Increased confidence will ensure only further success and development of your organisation.
How do I appoint a NED?
It is imperative to appoint the right individual. Your NED must have the relevant experience for your organisation however; this will not necessarily be somebody from your industry or sector. The most successful NED will be an individual whose skills compliment those of the senior management team – not match them. Your boards’ skill set should be objectively analysed before a decision is made – this can often involve outside assistance.
This article was originally published on Place Resources.