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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Diversifying your board - the Trustee Recruitment Cycle

There is much to be gained by diversifying your board and getting the right mix of trustees with a range of lived, learned and practised expertise. Trustees play an essential role for the charities that they lead from setting the charity’s strategic direction to making key decisions and ensuring accountability. To do this well, they need to have the right set of experiences, perspectives and skills, and be representative of the communities that they serve. But how do you find and recruit the right candidates?

When Reach Volunteering produced the Trustee Recruitment Cycle, our aim was to create an accessible and practical guide with the tools, advice and case studies to help charities make their trustee recruitment more inclusive and effective. 

In collaboration with the Association of Chairs, Small Charities Coalition and Getting on Board, we spoke to a number of charities to identify the barriers and challenges in trustee recruitment. Using this research, we developed the Trustee Recruitment Cycle, a website that takes you through six stages of the recruitment process:

  • Reflect - Identify the mix of skills and experience your board needs to lead your charity.
  • Prepare - Plan your recruitment process, draw up a trustee role description, and get ready to engage with candidates.
  • Advertise - Create a trustee advert to attract the candidates you want and share it widely.
  • Shortlist and interview - Choose the person who will strengthen your trustee board.
  • Appoint and induct - Appoint your new trustee, and support them with a good induction.
  • Evaluate - Learn from your trustee recruitment process and lay strong foundations for future recruitment.

We firmly believe that good recruitment is inclusive recruitment and have included equity, diversity and inclusion as an essential part of every stage of the process. The Trustee Recruitment Cycle challenges boards to invest more time reflecting on who they need, before recruiting, and to consider their board culture at every stage. Change can be hard and slow but it is possible, and your charity will reap the rewards.

As part of Trustees’ Week 2021, I will be hosting a webinar with the SCVO on 1 November about the Trustee Recruitment Cycle, guiding you through the six stages and helping you to build the diverse board that your charity needs.

Whether you are a trustee, a senior member of staff or a decision maker, this webinar will help your board recruit more effectively and inclusively, with plenty of resources to support you on your journey. Book your place now!

Last modified on 20 October 2021