“Recruiting trustees isn’t simply a matter of advertising or asking around,” explains Lucinda Shaw, Eastside People’s executive recruitment consultant.
With Abbeyfield Southern Oaks, she began by working hard to thoroughly understand the roles that the charity was looking to fill. Then she ran an open recruitment campaign. This involved putting together an inclusive and accessible candidate information pack and an engaging advert to be displayed on a range of recruitment sites, shared through relevant local organisations such as councils for voluntary service, and posted on social media.
Most importantly, Lucinda carried out an active search process, using packages such as LinkedIn’s Recruiter, to target potential candidates and invite them to consider the role. After talking to those who were interested, she then supported them to apply, longlisted the best candidates and discussed with the Abbeyfield Southern Oaks team which of these to shortlist and interview.
“It’s about thinking about what this particular board needs, where they are at now, and where they are going,” says Lucinda. “Then you advocate for the role with potential candidates, pointing out what’s interesting and what they could get out of it.”
“Eastside People brought not just energy and intelligence, but an ability to tap into resources we didn’t know existed,” says Nigel. This provided “interesting people who would never otherwise have been identified”, he adds.
For Eastside People, the team’s deep knowledge of the charity sector was invaluable to the project’s success. “At Eastside People, we really understand and love the sector,” says Lucinda, which helps to identify the people who would be the right fit. She adds: “We can be responsive and nuanced to what the organisation needs and wants.”
Nigel was delighted at the speed and success of the recruitment. “It took an astonishingly short time,” he says, pointing out that Lucinda kept in regular touch and had identified shortlists for each role within two or three months. The charity now has four new trustees.
“We are absolutely delighted with the help Eastside People have given us and with every one of the people Lucinda has enabled us to find,” says Nigel. “With her help we have been able to move from a board of totally committed but ultimately amateur trustees to a much more professional board with the right mix of skills to match our business as a charity.”
Now, Abbeyfield Southern Oaks is looking to the future and hoping to further grow its portfolio of properties providing high quality supported accommodation for older people. As part of this growth plan, the charity is working with Eastside People to help recruit a second trustee with property experience, and a company secretary.
“For Eastside People as a social enterprise we are all about enabling third sector organisations to develop and grow,” says Lucinda, “it’s about helping them to raise their game.”