Board Position Descriptions

by Michael Sessions

Techniques to aid in their development

Effective board position descriptions are more than documents used to publicize openings. They can serve as the foundation for recruiting, set ongoing performance expectations, form the backbone of a successful succession plan, get used in evaluating board performance, and shape director development efforts. There is no formula for creating effective board position descriptions, but this article will provide a number of techniques to aid in their development, a best practice that fairly few credit unions have undertaken to date.

Good, Better and Best Position Descriptions

Most position descriptions begin with an overview of the position. This typically contains anything from a sentence to a paragraph describing the role and expectations of the position.

A good description also contains educational requirements and the number of years of experience a person must possess to accomplish the duties required. It will also include the skills required to fulfill the position—such as basic financial literacy skills—and an outline of the results expected of a person serving in the position.

A better position description includes everything contained in a good description and adds the credit union’s mission and core values. These two items are typically included immediately following the introduction.

Your credit union’s mission and core values are elevated in importance and become more visible when they are explicitly stated on each position description. It helps to inform candidates about the importance of the credit union’s culture and values. Core values and mission become part of board development if position descriptions are used for board development discussions.

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