We have adopted the following key principles from the AICD’s code of practice:
Succession Planning: Search firms should support Chairs and CEOs in developing medium-term succession plans that identify the balance of experience and skills that they will need to recruit for over the next two to three years to maximise executive and board team effectiveness.
Diversity Goals: When taking a specific brief, search firms should look at overall board or executive team composition and, in the context of the company’s aspirational goals on gender balance and diversity more broadly, incorporate the required diversity goals into the search.
Defining Position Descriptions: In defining position descriptions, search firms should work to ensure that significant weight is given to relevant skills, underlying competencies and personal capabilities and not just proven career experience, in order to extend the pool of candidates beyond those with existing board or senior roles or conventional corporate careers.
Long lists: When presenting long lists, search firms should aim for at least 30% of the candidates being women – and, if not, should explain to the client why they believe that there are no other qualified female options through demonstrating the scope and rigour of their research.
Supporting Selection: During the selection process, search firms should provide appropriate support, in particular to first-time or early senior career candidates, to prepare them for interviews and guide them through the process.
Emphasising Intrinsic Skills: As clients evaluate candidates, search firms should ensure that they continue to provide appropriate weight to intrinsic skills supported by thorough referencing, rather than over-valuing certain kinds of experience.
Induction: Search firms should provide advice to clients on best practice in induction and ‘onboarding’ processes to help new executives and board directors settle quickly into their roles.