Bringing on New Board Members

February 2023

Condominium communities where residents are more involved, and interested in serving as directors, likely have a process for identifying and working with qualified candidates.

One unique aspect of condo board governance is that elections are held, and new directors elected, each year.  It takes longer to develop an agenda and implement plans.  Introducing new directors with different agendas is a complication making success more difficult.  Owners want a board to act quickly yet governance restrictions make this difficult.

Working through this is achievable by instituting a plan to identify prospective directors and offer new orientation training.  This helps ensure everyone is on the same page, understands the current agenda and priorities, and is productive as quickly as possible.

Condo boards should always be on the lookout for new board members.  Once potential board members are identified there should be a concerted effect to educate, inform and welcome them while identifying their strengths.

Early Preparation

Invite those expressing interest in serving on the board to observe one or two meetings so they have a feel for how the board operates.  Provide a document detailing the time commitment and obligations of each role on the board.

A monthly update and quarterly newsletter will educate residents while attracting interest of those willing to offer their time.  Matters of importance to the board and capital projects are of interest to residents.

Search for Recruits

Always be on the lookout for director-candidates with the right skills and expertise.  If the treasurer resigns, consider appointing a qualified candidate over assigning the role to an unqualified director.  Strive to maintain a balance of soft, hard and technical skills on the board.

Encourage interested candidates to participate on a committee providing advice and access to the board.  This gives them an opportunity to learn about their community while they are observed and evaluated on leadership, communication and skills.

Offer Mentorship and Time

It takes time for a new director to understand the intricacies of condo governance, legal responsibilities, ethical considerations and board dynamics.  The importance of treating everyone equally and listening to opinions before formulating one’s perspective is not always understood by all.

Much of a new director’s first year should be spent listening; absorbing information, protocols and responsibilities; and becoming familiar with the general flow.  This allows them time to determine how their skills best fit into how the board operates.

Encourage new directors to speak up and make suggestions.  New ideas and constructive criticism should be welcome.  All directors should be encouraged to disagree when discussing matters and provide complete support once a decision has been voted on.  Assign newer directors with fewer board obligations to run committees.

An orientation process for condo directors is not yet a practice in most communities.  It should be.