Part One: Women on Boards & Beaumont Bailey – Why Boards and NEDs Choose Beaumont Bailey

Beaumont Bailey Director & Head of Investment, Amanda Floyd, was recently invited by Women on Boards as a guest speaker for its Working with Headhunters member webinar. Rachel Tranter, Executive Director of Women on Boards UK, led the session in which she and Amanda addressed a number of questions from the Women on Boards network and spoke candidly about some of the challenges facing NEDs in today’s climate and shared advice on how candidates can stand out when looking for board roles. The audience was a diverse mix of seasoned NEDs and aspiring NEDs and it was so pleasing to see such a large turnout and high levels of engagement.

Why do businesses choose to work with Beaumont Bailey’s Board Solutions?

Beaumont Bailey is committed to building the leadership teams of tomorrow across the financial services, technology, built environment and industrial sectors. We work globally for VC-backed, PLC, privately owned and owner managed businesses. Beaumont Bailey takes the best of traditional executive search and combines it with the finest assessment techniques and modern technology to source the highest calibre and most diverse talent in the market. One of Beaumont Bailey’s key differentiators is that we work from the business back. We look at the present dynamic of the board, assess each member deeply, understand the 3-5 year business strategy and determine the best profile that will complement both the existing board, whilst also pulling key levers to drive the organisation’s longer term strategy.

How should prospective candidates engage with Beaumont Bailey?

When prospective candidates first get in touch, we may not be working on a search mandate that suits their experience or aspirations. We will always have an open, honest conversation with prospective candidates however there are a few things to consider before this point. It is important that new applicants understand our business model for them to make the most of their time with our consultants. Candidates should be respectful of a headhunter’s time and make direct approaches to organisations of interest as well as use headhunters. They should think about the type of organisations they want to work with ahead of time and bring relevant, focused ideas to the conversations with headhunters, making sure the messaging around this is clear and concise. We need applicants and candidates to be pro-active in their search so we can find our clients and candidates the best fit for the organisation and the individual. Beaumont Bailey’s consultants will always be happy to maintain a relationship and check in with applicants – this is best kept to once every couple of months.

How does Beaumont Bailey support candidates in their search for board roles? 

Once applicants become candidates on live searches there is certainly a change of dynamic. Headhunters will be happy to spend more time with candidates once they have been identified as a good fit for the role. From briefing on the interview stages, helping translate the client’s brief and better understanding the client and their hiring process – Beaumont Bailey’s headhunters play a vital role when it comes to preparing candidates and open communication from both parties is key.

What trends are you seeing in the NED recruitment market?

The NED recruitment market is currently fiercely competitive. Following the post-pandemic great resignation , many more executives are starting their NED careers earlier, meaning there is more competition in the market. Despite this, we are seeing more roles open than ever before because of increasing regulatory requirements and shareholder pressure as a result of more active stewardship and better governance.

We are also seeing more younger NEDs making moves onto boards. Businesses are beginning to understand that individuals who are at ‘the coal face’ and are much closer to the market day-in-day-out are important assets for modern boards. These younger NEDs also better represent the younger demographic of the investor base or membership.

In addition to these trends, we continue to see ESG take priority for many boards. Boards that do not have ESG firmly on the agenda could be leaving the business open to high impact risks, missed opportunities and reputational damage. NEDs at all levels need to demonstrate that they can add value and help improve the business approach to ESG. They must gain understanding of their industry through an ESG lens. It is important to start with a comprehensive understanding of the issues that are material to your industry by analysing peers, standards, frameworks, and industry trends. Those who are informed will ask the right questions and ensure effective ESG strategies are put in place to drive sustainable, long-term value creation and minimise risk.

To find out more about Beaumont Bailey’s partnership with Women on Boards or about the Investment and Board Solutions practice, then please email Amanda Floyd:

Find out about joining Women on Boards:

Rachel Tranter, Executive Director of Women on Boards UK