There are numerous occasions when someone vacates a leadership position in a volunteer organization and you have to find a suitable replacement. There are many ways in which this can be done. One of the most common methods is to reach out within the community of interest to see if you can solicit recommendations from that community. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. One of the problems as I see it is that the internal community from which you are seeking candidates is usually very small.
As a member of the IEEE Vehicular Technology (VT) Society Board of Governors, I was asked to seek candidates for the position of Vice Chairman of the VT Standards Committee. This time I chose a different approach. The IEEE has a tool called e-Notice. Using this tool, one can send an email to all Society members. I carefully crafted a message which stated:
- The title of the position
- The requirements for the position
- Where to obtain further information.
This was sent out to the membership.
Approximately one week after the email was sent out, I received approximately 15-20 inquiries expressing interest in this position. Many sent very detailed resumes. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the responses and their Standards experiences. Soon, the number of responses approached 30. Reading through the replies to the e-Notice, it became evident that many of the respondents had a great breadth, depth and experience in the Standards arena.
The next step was not so easy and very time consuming. The information provided by many of the candidates was extensive. It became clear early in the selection process that some were not qualified, some moderately qualified, and many very well qualified for this position. It took a couple of weeks to review all of the candidates, make a list of those most qualified and then to contact them to ascertain their interest in this position. I finally ended up with a list of 3 very well qualified candidates. Telephone interviews were conducted and a final selection made. The selectee accepted the position.
The use of the e-Notice worked very well for me. Perhaps the next time you need to search for a candidate to fill a position, you might consider this approach .
Past Chairman, IEEE Vehicular Technology Society Standards Committee