How to find Advertised Board Vacancies in the UK

A study done last year found that 82% of organisations in the UK that have boards recruited a new board member in the last year. That means there are thousands and thousands of board vacancies filled each year. The question is not are there opportunities available but rather where do you find them and how do you get appointed.

Not call UK Board Vacancies are advertised

Approximately 10% of current board members stated that they were appointed to their most recent board via an advertised role. Whilst there are clearly statistically better ways to get appointed, this is still a topic that needs to be covered; not least of which because sooner or later a board role you want will be advertised and you will need to apply for it – it will undoubtedly be oversubscribed, so you need to know how to stand out. 

Here’s my advice on what to do.

Where to find UK Board Vacancies that are advertised

Since its inception, Board Appointments has advertised 15,000+ board vacancies for 5000+ individual organisations. We are one of the UK’s largest and most diverse advertisers of board vacancies. We work hard at gathering as much information as we can to get the best value for our members. However, should you not yet be a member, then you need to know where else you can find these vacancies. Below offers some guidance as to where you can find board vacancies advertised.

Board Vacancies – All sectors

To begin with, you should also keep an eye on the daily and weekly newspapers – The Times, The Guardian and weekend national papers such as The Sunday Times are a good place to start.  

Additionally, advertisements sometimes appear in industry/trade magazines. Though, today you are more likely to be advised of these vacancies by signing up for a company’s/organisation’s/peak body’s newsletter.

Indeed will sometimes advertise board vacancies, though feedback from members is that there is not much on offer. 

LinkedIn seems to be increasing the number of NED roles they advertise. You can often subscribe to receive job alerts.

Women on Boards advertise vacancies too. However, you will need to be a paid member to access their opportunities and, of course, they are open only to women.

Board Vacancies – Not for Profit

If you are specifically interested in Not-for-Profit or charity roles, then you could use https://www.charityjob.co.uk/.  They advertise volunteer roles but sometimes it is difficult to find board or trustee roles specifically.

Whilst you don’t get specific vacancy advice, the Charity Commission lists all the Not-for-Profits in the UK and provides some relevant information about the organisation. This content can help you narrow down which organisations to focus your attention on.

Board Vacancies – Commercial Organisations

PE or VC firms can be a great source of information and access to commercial board vacancies – we offer a list of these for our members. 

Equally, other professional service firms are a good source if you are connected with them – think lawyers and accountants. 

Oh, and there are a couple of small consultancies around who will promise to give you access to board vacancies  – but they often want ‘value add directors’. This means that if you are willing to pay up to £100k to sit on those boards, they are interested in you.

Board Vacancies – Government

If you are interested in public appointments, then you can start your search on the Cabinet Office’s official public appointments website. Here you will find a long list of board opportunities available in the public sector that you can apply for.

Board Vacancies – Recruiters

In some cases, recruiters might be a good place to focus your attention. However, there is no one firm I could recommend. Not because they are not good at what they do, but rather because there is no one firm that has a monopoly, or even close to a monopoly, on board appointments.

Where to from here?

In the end, it might just be easier to become a member of Board Appointments – sourcing opportunities is one of the things we are good at.

About the Author

David Schwarz is CEO & Founder of Board Appointments – The UK’s leading board advertising and non-executive career support firm. He has over a decade of experience of putting people on boards as an international headhunter and a non-executive recruiter and has interviewed over one thousand non-executives and placed hundreds into some of the most significant public, private and NFP roles in the world.


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