5 Reasons To Hire A Non-Executive Director (NED)

Written by Tilda on Feb. 15, 2019

As a leading Executive Search Firm, EO have provided Executives and NED’s to organisations of all sizes. From start-ups to well established fast growing organisations, they partner with us to bring on high calibre Executives and more increasingly, Non-Executive Directors.

An increase in demand for NEDs got me thinking… when should an organisation consider hiring an NED? First we must understand the role of the NED. An NEDis a member of the board of directors, who does not form part of the executive management. NEDs are independent from the everyday running of the business, as appointments are made under contracts for services and not employment, it is a key role with responsibilities.

So, why should a business consider hiring a Non- Executive Director?

It all depends on where an organisation currently is in its lifecycle and where its challenges lay, but here are a few scenarios where an NED could prove to be beneficial:

1. The business is just starting out and still finding its feet, it could be growing rapidly or facing extremely challenging times. Whatever the situation, the NED is likely to have encountered similar situations and if not they’re likely to know someone in their wide network who has. Leveraging on this experience and knowledge can prove to be extremely useful.

2. Is the business well networked?

Having the right business connections and being well networked can lead to a high volume of sales through quality referrals. For some businesses, their sales can rely heavily on referrals but for smaller businesses this can be time consuming and difficult to access/ build a network of key contacts.

A well-connected NED with a strong personal brand, will have a strong relevant network and the ability to make high quality introductions, that otherwise would be hard to access.

3. As NEDs are independent from the everyday side of the business, they work to provide an impartial perspective on issues that otherwise may be overlooked. For example:


  • Are targets being met?
  • Is the business on track?
  • What environmental changes are effecting the business?
  • What competitors should the business be looking at and how does can stay ahead of the competition?


4. Naturally, it is common for Executives and business owners to become heavily involved in the day to day running of the business. But it is important to have a strong strategic view and this is where an NED can contribute to the process. An NED will provide a more objective view on issues affecting the business, and can provide a wide scale overview of the potential opportunities for growth.

5. A business may be successful but could be running on an ad-hoc basis, where decision making is informal and loosely managed by the board. Boards can acquire bad habits, such as missed agenda items and conversations being side tracked. An NED can guide management in the right direction, keep them on track and alleviate any tension.

Do you recognise any of the above? If so, now may be a good time to consider bringing on board an NED. Hiring the right individual is not straightforward but at EO we are extensively networked and have a proven cost effective process of working with organisations to source the right individual for you.

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