Trustee Recruitment Websites – Could they be more straightforward?

In this week's blog, Joe Saxton shares his experience of using a number of Trustee recruitment sites to try and find a new Trustee role.
 
Joe Saxton
 

Having finished my trustee term with two charity boards this year, I am looking for trustee roles on trustee recruitment sites. I must admit I found it quite hard to find just one site which I could look at, and the variety of sites I have looked at are different in so many ways. This is my review of the sites that I found. If I am missing a site, please do let me know. You can also see my video review here.

Overall my conclusions are:

  • There is no single place where somebody interested in being a trustee can go to look for recruitment options. This review finds over 5-10 sites worth looking at on a regular basis.
     
  • Many of the sites (such as CharityJob and Guardian Jobs) don’t have great search functions - putting in the term ‘trustee’ seems to include any ad that mentions trustees. It is worth looking in different ways on the same sites.
     
  • I live in Cumbria, so I’m interested in being a trustee in Cumbria or for a national organisation. I don’t want to be a trustee in Somerset or Lincolnshire. The filters make it quite hard to search like this. The choices are xx miles from my home address, or ‘everything’, or by cause. I couldn’t find a single search function that allowed me to search for national trustee roles.
     
  • Overall, all the sites I looked at had a total number of vacancies at around 5000, or 30,000 to 60,000 over the course of a year. Given there are 180,000 charities all with trustees, and an average of 12 trustees for each charity, on a typical 3-year term, then a typical organisation will have 4 vacancies each year. This is 720,000 vacancies a year (180,000 x 12 /3). This implies that an awful lot of trustee vacancies still aren’t advertised.

 

Specialist volunteering recruitment sites

Reach Volunteering (Link)

Reach had one of the largest numbers of trustee vacancies I could find at around 1700 With 12 vacancies per page. That is a lot of scrolling to get through. I reckon on the basis of my own personal prejudice that most people won’t scroll through more than 5 pages (have you ever gone to the 5th page of google search results even?). I definitely want a ‘national charity’ filter on this site.

Trustees Unlimited (Link)

Trustee Unlimited is a nice bijou trustee recruitment site with a limited number of vacancies (see what I did there). I scrolled through all 60 or so of their vacancies. The great advantage of this site is knowing that all the vacancies are for trustees.

More generalised jobs sites including trustee vacancies

CharityJob (Link)

CharityJob advertises itself as the largest charity and social enterprise jobsite in the UK. Good one. However, I pressed the ‘trustee jobs’ button and only 10-15 vacancies came up. If you are interested in trustee roles, it’s probably just as well for CharityJob to have this specific button; with around 3000 jobs on the site, it would take a while to find the limited trustee roles. For this reason, I rank it as one of the less important trustee sites (for me personally, at least).

Guardian Jobs (Link)

Ah, the Guardian Jobs site. I found this one quite mercurial to search. If I googled guardian jobs and then put trustee in the search box , 4 vacancies came up. Not good. A closer look revealed that the search function has delivered me ‘media’ jobs. I needed to click ‘home’ on the site, and then if I typed in ‘trustee’ into the search bar, I got 198 jobs. That is more like what I expected from the Guardian, with some interesting looking roles too.

LinkedIn (Link)

I had never really thought about using LinkedIn as a job site until I applied for a trustee role that was flagged up to me because I lived in Cumbria (all credit to Reach volunteering for using LinkedIn this way). Going to the jobs tab on the LinkedIn home page and typing in trustee revealed a whopping 1500 roles. Too many to easily search, but anybody who is easier pleased than me on geography or cause will probably find something good.

The recruitment agencies

There are a range of recruitment agencies (I include ACEVO here for the sake of simplicity) who sometimes have trustee roles on their books. The good thing about any roles on these sites is they are likely to be pretty interesting as the charity/non-profit has decided that it’s worth spending a bit more money on recruiting. The bad news is that the numbers of roles on any recruitment agency website at any one time is pot luck. Sometimes quite a few, and sometimes not many. Watch out for the roles where the closing date has passed, but the ad is left up: either to pad out the job ad pages or demonstrate the kind of fancy role that they have, or both!

Not all the links below lead directly to trustee roles, as the URL for a page for some sites didn’t include the search criteria. A missed opportunity if you ask me.

Peridot Partners - (Link

Harris Hill - (Link

Odgers - (Link

Prospectus - (Link

Charity People - (Link

TPP recruitment - (Link

ACEVO - (Link

Useful sources of info on trusteeship

Finally, some links and sources of great information on trusteeship and governance:

nfpSynergy (Link)
 

nfpSynergy produce a varied range of free resources, with some Trustee related content from the past few years including:

 

Getting on Board (Link)

Getting on Board is a charity which aims to improve charity trusteeship and provides training, support and great advice.
 

NCVO Trustee Information (Link)

There is a wealth of information on the NCVO governance pages, as well as a free link for members to advertise vacancies on the Trustees Unlimited pages

Charity Governance Code (Link)

The Charity Governance Code is the over-arching code that sets how what good practice and policy looks like in charities. They also have a useful links section.

Association of Chairs (Link)

While more targeted at Chairs than all trustees, AoC has a range of useful information on governance, including surveys, briefings and helpful materials.

If I have missed any sites, agencies or useful places to go, please let me know! I'd also love to hear how your experience of finding a Trustee role compares.

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