Most of my current workload is taken up with finding independent non-executive directors, it’s a mix of small growing business and large established UK boards.  It’s a fascinating recruitment market for many reasons, not least it allows me to deal with the most senior people in the market and to have some fascinating conversations.  My blog would be infinitely more interesting if I could reproduce some of those but alas confidentiality is imperative to what I do!  In the last week though I’ve chatted with people who worked with Baroness Thatcher while she was at the height of her pomp, people who’ve raised billions of pounds to buy and sell businesses and heard one particularly juicy anecdote re a FTSE 100 CEO.  This makes life anything but dull.  

However I do want to focus on why hiring a good independent NED or two is a must for a small growing business.  There are many little businesses out there which don’t really employ NEDs, why would they?  You’re paying someone a relatively fat salary for a few days a year work, how is that cost effective when you’re struggling to get growth?  This is a conversation I had recently with a CEO, the thing is though it wildly misses the point.  The current competition for NED roles is absolutely fierce and the quality of candidates is honestly mind blowing.  If you have an interesting business with sound growth prospects you could very easily have a ftse100 main board director for very little money each year.  Yes that’s not full time but imagine what you could learn from that person.   Imagine the contacts they have.  Now imagine how much that will help grow your business.  It may be a hefty day rate that you have to fork out but it is more than worth it in the long run.  

An NED might not seem like something that’s important right now but I’d argue it’s time for a rethink, the value there is potentially incredible.