Attracting a Non-Executive Director


The global, privately-owned environmental consulting company with employees stretched across five continents realised that it needed to add another outside director with the capacity to lead its Audit Committee.

A private business with many owners who cared deeply for the enterprise, it was necessary to find an individual who would fit within the Board culture. With thousands of employees and more than a billion dollars in annual sales, the Board selected TRANSEARCH to help it raise the bar and find an exceptional candidate who would satisfy the requirement for experienced Chief Financial Officer expertise.

The Board sought a candidate who was friendly and personable, yet confident and willing to take a stand, even at the risk of creating conflict. The Board also asked TRANSEARCH to help it increase its diversity (both of thought as well as race and gender). The task was to attract a "Citizen of the World" who would help the other Board members who were mostly employees of the business. These internal firm leaders were sensitive to the notion that a global approach was necessary for the future success of the company.

Previous to TRANSEARCH's involvement, our client's Board had selected outside directors on its own, but these decisions did not raise the bar of collaborative leadership or add significantly to the global perspective it sought. In the prior Board search assignment with our global team, TRANSEARCH's global network uncovered a Board member that brought client CEO experience and sat on several other industry Boards of Directors, bringing the voice of the customer to our client's Board. Therefore, our client trusted us to consider individuals who were eager to serve and would deliver the right candidates from a culture fit point of view, not merely the best among them.


Our team immediately began to leverage a global network of trusted business relationships to develop an initial list of highly qualified potential candidates and referral sources.

We leveraged our proprietary TRANSEARCH Orxestra® Method to develop a customised Skills/Experience Matrix for the kind of Non-Executive Director who would thrill the client. We also engaged the Hogan Assessment tool to lend context to our evaluation of each candidate's personality to improve our appraisal of each one's fit.

A concentration on the unique needs of this client's Board led us to identify a total of nine exceptionally experienced leaders. Each candidate brought big-company CFO experience, global business insight and a commitment to ethical governance as well as experience on other corporate boards.

From this list emerged a short-list of four highly interested Board of Directors candidates. The Board's intensive interviewing process began with a real sense of opportunity to upgrade the board's global perspective, its sensitivity to emerging global issues and overall financial acumen.

Our client's Selection Committee and then its full Board interviewed the candidates for expertise, experience and behavioral markers such as confidence, team focus, intellectual honesty and ideation.


After diligent interviewing and significant alignment on each Board interviewer's findings, the board selected a globally experienced woman executive with a reputation for being a true collaborative leader with deep finance and board experience.

Convinced of her unique capacity to lead its Audit Committee, our client provided its newest Director the room she needed to navigate the company's finances and the Board's collaborative nature. Aside from earning the trust of her new Board peers, she exhibited her governance acumen at the World Economic Forum in Davos as well as the Kennedy School at Harvard University.

In seeking - and finding - an Audit Committee leader capable of unifying a highly divergent set of board member profiles, our client also gained the kind of cultural and global credibility it felt it needed in a highly competitive and globalising market space. Our client soon after engaged our global TRANSEARCH team to conduct a search for another Non-Executive Director. Another assignment that required a unique set of experiences and a collaborative, inquiring mindset - reminding us how each search is new, needing fresh research and deep engagement.


She's such a dynamic fit. That's how our client has described its new Audit Committee leader and heralded her arrival.

Aside from investing in a major press announcement regarding its new Director's appointment, our client soon found its team answering multiple calls for magazine interview requests. The reason?

This one Director, from our client's point of view, has helped challenge its own Board's status quo. She has helped it map out where the organisation is going and how the Board's governance challenges may evolve over time. She understands technology and is not intimidated by the winds of change.

She is, in the minds of her fellow directors, a model for the future of its Boards, and for future Directors to emulate.

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