Keeping up the momentum as you build a strong membership pipeline, and for overall recruiting, is vital to the success of any Client Advisory Council. Recruiting is ongoing work that often comes with several challenges and always takes longer than expected, requiring acute attention and thoughtful planning.
Here are a few best practices to consider for ongoing recruitment for your Client Advisory Council:
Maintain Internal Focus – Utilize a tracking document to house all recruiting candidate information (including candidate organization, geography, industry, etc.) and to track the recruiting outreach and invitation process. Be sure to always assign recruiting-related actions internally, including who should extend the Client Advisory Council invitation, and following up where needed; it won’t happen itself! If recruiting progress ever stalls, a recruiting tracker provides your team with a clear view to the account specifics and outreach efforts made.
Maintaining detailed recruiting trackers and membership databases also helps highlight any potential gaps in membership from an industry or geographical lens.
Be Clear, Be Persistent – In enlisting account team leads or individuals not involved in the Council’s day-to-day work to help with recruiting, be as clear as possible when providing background on the Council, including both its purpose and value. A Council backgrounder, such as a 1-2 page supporting document, provides a brief overview of the Council, including its purpose, objectives, and value. In our work at Farland Group, we’ve found providing background information to internal executives allows them to quickly extend Council invitations, knowing they have a good grasp of how the Council operates.
Following up on recruiting is required, including follow up with senior executives on approval to invite candidates to join the Client Advisory Council and follow up with account teams on the status of invitations to potential Council members. Being persistent with follow up communication is key to keeping recruiting progress on track.
Remember Diversity Matters – Diversity is an important element to consider when recruiting for Client Advisory Councils as membership diversity helps drive different discussions and dialogue at Council meetings. Routinely evaluate Council membership to ensure you are bringing in diverse perspectives – this step can help lead to better discussions, varies the advice provided, and offers a stronger opportunity to drive improvement and change.