There’s a pattern each September - organisations return from Summer holidays and realise they urgently need to recruit new trustees!

El Evans, SCVS Coordinator for the regional Link Up Project has some words of advice and top tips for groups recruiting to their Trustee board this September and beyond.

“Recruiting, selecting and inducting governing body members is possibly one of the most important processes that a voluntary organisation can undertake.

A strong, well-balanced and resilient management board needs to have a diverse range of skills, work and lived experience, and the knowledge to run an organisation effectively. It’s vital that Trustees receive the induction, training and ongoing support that they need to carry out their duties effectively.

When you’re beginning the process of finding new Trustees, although word of mouth can prove effective at times, adopting a formalised approach to recruitment and induction can really help you find the trustees you want. It also ensures the process is transparent and inclusive, and that you operate within the requirements of the law and your governing document.

Follow a formal recruitment process:

A formalised recruitment process involve Planning, Recruitment, Selection and Induction. In many ways, it should mirror the manner in which paid staff are recruited.

Effective planning will help you to identify where the current gaps are on your board, and what skills are needed to fill these. Completing a skills (or strengths) audit can help with this.

Use a skills / strengths audit

There are many simple useful skills audits available online, and Link Up has developed a strengths audit for this very purpose which we can either send this out to management boards, or if groups prefer, which we use when attending your board meeting to facilitate discussion.

Target the people that you need

Once your board has completed a strengths or skills audit, it is possible to target recruitment in order to attract a diverse range of candidates with the skills needed by the organisation.

This may include advertising in the local and/or specialist press, using your CVC to advertise the vacancy, and using trustee brokerage services. You can also advertise details of current trustee opportunities free of charge via Recruit 3 and (Tip - Depending on need, it can really help to have already drawn up a role and person specification before the recruitment process begins).

One of Link Ups free services is to provide organisations with support and tools to work up a suitable advert and target their recruitment to match with any skills gap. SCVS can also advertise your vacancy on their website, in both the job vacancies and trustee vacancy pages, and across social media platforms.

Interview candidates - and induct your new trustees

Interviewing potential candidates is advisable as this allows your board to meet the potential trustee and to ensure they meet your requirements - not only in terms of skills and experience, but also in attitude and values.

Once you have selected your trustee, it is good practice to arrange an induction. This involves writing a letter of acceptance, meeting existing trustees, meeting with the chair to talk about the organisation and an induction pack. The induction pack may include a history of the organisation, a copy of the governing document, details of other trustees and meeting dates, and Charity Commission resources.

Big Lottery logo - Sept 2017Link Up can help you through the selection process and then work with you to develop an induction pack and process for your organisation. Link Up can also provide a free induction on 3rd Sector governance and can recruit mentors from business, public and academic sectors to support new trustees further and share skills.”  

For more information about the Link Up Project, click here

Useful resources to help you in your Trustee recruitment:

Trustee and Governance on the SCVS website

An overview, and a range of downloadable information sheets to help you build your own understanding – Click here

Volunteering Wales

The National website advertising volunteering opportunities across wales – upload your Trustee vacancies free of charge -

Recruit 3

Developed as a partnership between the Big Issue and WCVA, Recruit 3 is the third sector jobs site for Wales. Trustee vacancies can be advertised free of charge:  

Charity Commission for England and Wales

A wealth of information for both current and prospective Trustees, and in particular, two sections:

  • CC30 Finding New trustees – What charities need to know
  • RS10 Start as you mean to go on – Trustee recruitment and induction

Visit: for more information.

SCVs NPTCVS BAVO logo combo Sept 17