Trustee Recruitment Service
If your question isn't answered below, you can email us with any other questions you might have at [email protected]
What is the process?
Following receipt of your recruitment requirements, we’ll organise a call for your trust Chair with one of our experienced expert advisers – this will depend on mutual availability and we will share our diary booking system with you to identify a suitable time. Please note that we must have the trust Chair and/or Member on this initial call. While it’s fine for members of the trust executive to attend, the process must be lead and owned by the Chair or Member, or a designated nominee from the board. Where more than one person from the trust is joining the call, please advise the Trustee Recruitment Service team in advance so we can assist with conferencing facility.
Our Adviser will finalise your requirements after this call and immediately commence a search for suitable volunteers meeting your specific requirements and parameters. We will share the CV of one candidate per listed role, for the Chair/Member’s review. Please note, in line with recruitment law we will share the candidate who is the best match based on skills and experience. We will share one candidate per role listed and will not share further candidate CVs until we have feedback on each individual shared. Trusts must not directly approach candidates, even where contact information is visible on a CV/profile summary; should the trust wish to proceed to direct introduction, please notify the Trustee Recruitment Service team and this introduction will normally follow very swiftly.
After this stage, you are free to engage directly with the volunteer by whatever means is most suitable for all parties. Please keep the Trustee Recruitment Service updated on all progress and potential/planned appointments.
How long will the process take?
Many variables may contribute to the timing and timeline of your activity. Depending on your requirements, the specifics of your skills focus, your location and internal deadlines and availability, we may be able to identify a suitable match immediately for you to interview and progress. Every case is different, however, and we deliver a bespoke process to suit your circumstances. In some instances, a low level of interest in roles means that we may need to try multiple approaches in order to identify a good candidate for your review. Our team will update you throughout the process and ensure you have visibility on the latest status.
What does the Trustee Recruitment Service do to find suitable candidates?
We may use a blend of approaches, dependent on what is needed. We utilise professional networks – linked to particular skills and qualifications, such as HR, Finance or Law – and external advertising platforms to invite applications for trustee roles. We undertake a rigorous sift of applicants to ensure the highest calibre and conduct individual interviews with each volunteer to develop our understanding of their skills, knowledge, expertise and motivations. This ‘pool’ of candidates, engaged, enthusiastic and actively seeking trustee positions, is a vital source of prospective volunteers and we consult the pool for any suitable individuals to share with you once we have confirmed your requirements. Where necessary we may also employ targeted headhunting activity and work with some of our corporate partners to promote opportunities and cherry-pick suitable people for your roles.
Why isn’t trustee recruitment through Governors for Schools free anymore?
Governors for Schools is a charity. We do not receive any government funding to deliver our service and so rely on donations and support from beneficiaries and partners. As we have developed our Trustee Recruitment Service we have carefully considered the requirements of the sector to deliver this service. To cover the costs of the additional staffing, outreach and work required, we need to charge for the activity we do.
Academy trust governance relies on independence and accountability at board level – the ability of those around the board table to hold the trust’s executive leadership to account, ask challenging questions and ensure the best and strongest possible governance of the trust as a whole. Many of the skills needed in effective governance exist within the senior leadership of corporate organisations and are directly transferable to an education governance context. In order to meet this need, we’re transitioning to a service that actively headhunts the highest-calibre senior leaders; the counterpart to this process is working with academy trusts seeking to improve governance and conducting focused diagnostic calls to ‘deep-dive’ into the need and understand the how, what, why, when and where of their recruitment. All of this means we are introducing new tools, expertise, approaches and systems to ensure a robust and impactful recruitment process.
Will the Trustee Recruitment Service do vetting, checks and references on candidates shared?
The Trustee Recruitment Service will undertake light-touch vetting of candidates in the form of online searches, Companies House disqualification checks and cross-referencing of publicly-available records. It is strongly recommended that trust undertake usual Safer Recruiting processes in line with usual recruitment protocol, including Enhanced CRB and reference checking. All responsibility for appointment and associated checking remains with the trust.
Is my trust obliged to appoint candidates shared by the Trustee Recruitment Service?
In short: no. There is no obligation to appoint any candidate. The work conducted by the Trustee Recruitment Service will identify strong, suitable candidates that we believe are a good match for your requirements and who will be capable of being a high-calibre member of your board. We recognise, however, that sometimes a good personal fit or rapport isn’t achieved and therefore we may need to search a little further. Where this is the case, we request your open, frank and honest feedback on candidates to inform our ongoing processes and records.
Will the people the Trustee Recruitment Service share be experts in the education sector?
While we may be able to help identify people with education-specific knowledge and experience, most of the volunteers we share will be from a corporate background and thus will not necessarily possess prior knowledge of the education sector. This is, we believe, an advantage when independent-thinking, ‘fresh-eyes’ and scrutiny, without preconceptions, is necessary – which is ‘always’, on a healthy and effective trust board! Such candidates typically possess enquiring minds, are quick to assimilate information and are used to operating in a fast-paced environment, all of which means they can quickly get up to speed on any education-specific jargon and challenges. Please be aware that where education specialists are required, this may result in a longer recruitment cycle to enable the Trustee Recruitment Service team to conduct thorough searching via non-standard channels.
Will the Trustee Recruitment Service conduct training and induction of candidates after appointment?
The Trustee Recruitment Service is not responsible for induction, training or on-boarding activity of candidates. While each appointed volunteer will receive access to training resources and online learning modules to support their governance journey, this is supplementary to training and induction provided by the trust. We recommend training on understanding education-specific data, internal processes and any other knowledge required for the role is provided by the trust as soon as possible after induction.