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Spencer Stuart Outlines Framework to Evaluate First-Time Director Candidates

A recent article by consultants at Spencer Stuart delves into the difficulty of vetting the novice director and how boards can effectively evaluate a candidate with no boardroom experience. “Many nominating committees are nervous about appointing executives who lack boardroom experience, and with good reason — board appointments involve a long-term commitment and mistakes can be painful and costly, disrupting the equilibrium of the board and damaging the reputations of those concerned,” according to the authors. They recommend a robust framework for assessing the candidate’s skills, experience, character and how the candidate will adapt to the role. The framework suggests five attributes to assess: interpersonal skills; intellectual approach; integrity; independent mindedness; and inclination to engage. The article expands on each attribute and includes questions boards may consider when evaluating a candidate. According to research published in the Spencer Stuart Board Index, 33 percent of S&P 500 appointments and 32 percent of FTSE 150 appointments in 2018 were new directors serving on their first corporate boards.

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