Thoughts On the NomCom Process

We’ve just wrapped up the interviews and I wanted to jot down a few thoughts on what I’ve seen from using the process that we have today:

  • The time requirement for the NomCom members seems reasonable
  • We still have a lot of work on explaining the “why” of the tasks so that we get year over year consistency of execution. HQ has/will continue to pay a key role in that.
  • I think the process does a fair job of helping the NomCom assess candidates. I rate it fair because I wish for better (and we’ll look more), but it’s always analog.
  • I’d like to see the process revised to include a mock app review and a mock candidate interview. Particularly the latter, we found as we went that we’d hear someone ask a question and go “that’s a good question!”, and sometimes we’d hear a good question badly framed. One mock would smooth a lot of that out, especially with an interesting “candidate”.
  • The current application plus an hour interview is enough to assess them. Not sure longer/more would be worth doing.

There was one part that surprised me, and that was how hard it was for me – who knows better! – to remember that I’m not hiring candidates, I’m screening them (you the voter get to do the hiring). What’s the difference? Screening means we pass on qualified candidates, even if in some cases we heard an answer we disagreed with it on direction or style or substance. The difference is subtle, but it’s there. The process we have mitigates that problem nicely by scoring candidates across different categories, not just a thumbs up/down. I’ll add that if we have a weak point its that we don’t have a lot of good data points on who will work out to be a good Board member. We should work on that, not just for vetting, but for growing future candidates.

Thinking about the rest of it, I am concerned about the drop in total candidates this year. Why so much lower? One theory I’ve heard is that with one current/three former Board members on the NomCom potential candidates were intimidated. I hope that isn’t the case. Not enough marketing? If you have thoughts on any part of that I’d love to hear from you offline/confidentially.

The NomCom isn’t quite done. We still have to recommend the slate, and then revisit the entire process to see if more changes are needed.

I’ll close by thanking the candidates for this year for stepping up and taking the challenge. Win or lose, your participation means a lot to the organization and its members.