Have a real job description – not just a list of responsibilities
Maintain a current, strategic profile of what you have and what you need in board members and maintain the board recruitment process all year long
Share as much information as possible and honestly during the recruitment process
Conduct real interviews with each candidates; not just tours or social presentations
Don’t go begging – make it a selective competitive process to be invited to your board so that service is seem as as an honor and a privilege
Check references or at least make service on one of your committees a prerequisite for board service so you can witness for yourselves how the person works — does he/she follow-through on promises, is she/he accountable, play well with other?
Make it clear to the candidate why you want him or her — what is it in the person that you value and want and need on your board
Do not hesitate to say no, thank you, if you determine this person isn’t right for your board right now; you should have committees on which that person can serve instead
Let a candidate know up front what the expected time commitment is, including meetings, work done in between meetings, how much the expected give is, whether volunteering is an expectation, etc.
Don’t make your organization look better – or worse – than it is. Give an accurate picture of the organization, warts and all, what is on the horizon. In other words, share the strategic plan with the candidates.