It’s that time of year where we sadly say, “So long” to AIGA DC’s departing board members. As we thank them for their service, we welcome their successors to step up and join us.
Our chapter’s leadership is committed to making our recruitment process as transparent and inclusive as possible. This includes sharing our board recruitment process with you, our AIGA DC community. If you have feedback, questions, or suggestions about recruitment, please email us anytime at email@example.com. We’re happy to hear feedback on how we can do better.
Forming a Recruitment Committee
Our first step in the search for new board members was to form a recruitment committee. This group was composed of four returning chapter board members, five departing board members, two advisory board members, and one chapter member. Their task was to execute the board recruitment process, then propose a slate of new candidates to fill the 12 open board roles for the upcoming year.
We also made some changes to the process based on recommendations from AIGA National, including incorporating a public slate (more on that later)!
Building off past years’ approaches, this year’s process fell into three parts:
- Outreach and Application Collection
- Independent Review & Evaluation
The committee helped develop the process, and then participated in two training sessions to ensure a fair The recruitment committee developed the process, then participated in two training sessions to ensure that all applications would be reviewed fairly.
Outreach and Application Collection
We aimed to ensure that local prospective board members knew which positions were open, how to apply, and what to expect from the whole process. We published a list of the open roles on our website and across our social media platforms. We also provided the full list of application questions in advance. This gave applicants adequate time to prepare their answers before submitting the online form.
In an effort to recruit diverse boardies, we took nominations from the community and encouraged folks to self-nominate.
One week before the application deadline, we hosted a public info session where a small group of current board members candidly answered questions about the board structure, how we work, available roles, and the selection process.
Independent Review & Evaluation
After the application period closed, each member of the Recruitment Committee reviewed and scored a set of applications.
Reviewers were asked to rate the applications across five categories:
- Skills: How well does this person match the job description and have the skills to execute the role(s) they are interested in? If the person is applying for multiple roles, average the score.
- Perspective: How much additional perspective will this person bring to the board either from their background, interests, or area of knowledge?
- Spirit: How much support has this person provided to the design community, other communities, or others in the past?
- Accountability: Based on your review of this person’s resume, how accountable do you believe they are?
- Innovation: How likely is this person to bring new ideas to the board?
To ensure consistency across reviewers, the evaluators used the following criteria for grading each applicant in each category:
- 1 = Novice: New to the subject or not bringing any novel ideas or background
- 2 = Intermediate: Has some knowledge or skill but little applied experience
- 3 = Proficient: Has practical application of skills or knowledge on the subject
- 4 = Distinguished: A high performance level of experience and brings some new perspective
- 5 = Mastery: Has expertise and repeated experience in their subject matter, including novel ideas and background
Evaluators submitted their scores privately to prevent them from influencing each other. Each application was reviewed by at least three members of the Recruitment Committee, so each person ended up reviewing about five applications. We avoided having anyone review an application of a candidate they knew personally or professionally to avoid any conflicts of interest. All applicants were evaluated on the basis of what they provided within their application alone.
The results of the scoring provided objective data points, but was only a starting place for a broader discussion among the committee. After extensive conversation during the first deliberation, the committee selected candidates to move on to the interview.
The STAR Method is a behavioral-based interview structure where candidates answer questions by discussing the Situation or Task they had to resolve, the Actions they took, and the Results that were achieved. Recruitment Committee members asked each candidate the same questions, which gave interviewers a structured data-gathering process.
This form of behavioral-based interviewing is based on discovering how the candidate acted in specific position-related situations. Candidates were asked questions related to the skills and responsibilities outlined in role descriptions. Instead of asking how the candidate would behave in an imaginary situation, interviewers asked how they behaved in a past experience.
Additionally, and most importantly, by asking a set of standardized interview questions, we reduced the likelihood of personal bias amongst the interview panel. Instead, we assessed candidates on a much more even playing field, grounded in behavioral-based interviewing that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The Committee wrote four STAR Method questions for the interviews that aligned with our scoring rubric’s themes of Accountability, Collaboration, Spirit, and Innovation. The candidates received information about the STAR Method prior to their interviews. During the interviews, each candidate was asked the same four questions in a few one-on-one sessions with interview panels. This gave every candidate an equal chance to respond, and allowed the interview panels to accurately collect the data shared during these conversations.
Final Deliberation and Selection
After interviews, the Recruitment Committee gathered for a multi-hour final deliberation. They reviewed applications and discussed interviews.
As the final group of candidates was narrowed down, the Committee also reviewed new candidates and the returning board as a group. This ensured that the board will include a diverse mix of identities, geographies, experience, and industries within the broad umbrella of “design” in the DC Metro area.
The committee proposed a slate of 12 candidates to AIGA DC’s current Board of Directors. During the June 2022 board meeting, the current board unanimously approved this slate.
This multi-phase recruitment process took about 5 months, and we’re not quite done yet. The last step in selecting our new board members to serve on the 2022-2023 AIGA DC Board of Directors involves our AIGA DC members. This week, all active AIGA DC members will get an email with instructions on how to vote on our proposed slate of new board members. Members will be able to approve, reject, or abstain from voting on this full slate through a digital ballot.
Overall, this process helped our Recruitment Committee build a more equitable selection structure for future board members. The committee feels confident in our final selections, and we believe that our proposed new boardies will serve the AIGA DC community. But we’ll end by opening the door once more for your feedback. If you are an AIGA DC member, please submit your vote by 11:59PM EST on June 15, 2022 to make sure your voice is heard. And if you have any questions or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.