Don’t believe all you read. The vast majority of non-executive roles are not handled by head-hunters. And where they are, any headhunter will be operating to tightly defined requirements with limited opportunity for flexibility in the way they fulfil their brief. 

Success is not guaranteed.

BUT there are many other routes to market that allow you more control and give access to more of the opportunities as they arise.

It is certainly worthwhile thinking about joining a networking group. These often offer educational content, in terms of NED-specific and sector topics, as well as opportunities to widen your own network.  

Some groups, for example the FT NED Club and those run by business schools, offer formal programmes; others are more informal networking groups. Details of some of the ones we recommend are set out below, as well as links for public and NHS Chair and NED roles.

Equally important in our view are your personal connections (or, even more so, the connections of connections) and the information and introductions they may bring. 

Finally, the direct approach may also be very effective and in this context Linked provides excellent insights to the market and is an essential tool

Financial Times NED Club (www.non-execs.com) : offers everything from introductory sessions to a six month highly credible Diploma

Cranfield University School of Management (www.cranfield.ac.uk) : hosts a bi-annual introductory two day residential NED seminar

Next Generation Non-Executive Network (https://nextgennednetwork.com/) : an informal but structured network, initiated by Simmons & Simmons, running a regular series of interactive talks on a range of governance and compliance issues

Board Appointments (https://boardappointments.co.uk) : a board advertising and non-executive career support firm. David Schwarz, its founder, writes regular newsletters on how to get a NED role

Mosaic INED course (https://thezishi.com/course/mosaic-ned-ineds-in-asset-and-fund-management) : courses for those considering a transition into the non-executive space in fund and asset management

BCKR (www.bckr.com) : a membership network that looks to bridge law and the boardroom 

Nurole (https://www.nurole.com) : an online board recruitment platform that operates a free membership network

NEDonBoard (https://www.nedonboard.com) : a membership organisation for non-executive directors and board members

Public Appointments and NHS Chair and NED roles (https://apply-for-public-appointment.service.gov.uk and https://www.england.nhs.uk/non-executive-opportunities/

To learn more about how Milestones can help your search for a NED role, call or email either

Tim Musgrave on 07802 481 124 (tim@careermilestones.com) or Nick Holt on 07802 885 363  (nick@careermilestones.com)

Download a copy of Finding that Non-Executive Role