5 minutes with... Susie Cummings, the entrepreneur changing the way boardrooms recruit

Boardroom diversity is in, little black books are out for C-suite headhunting platform Nurole.

by Stephen Jones
Last Updated: 16 Feb 2018

How would you describe Nurole in an elevator pitch?

Nurole is a global, invitation-only, board and C-level headhunting platform powered by recommendations. We match board level people to board level roles on a global scale. It’s rather like crowdsourcing the longlist.

We let candidates lead the process. When we post a role, we send it out to our members, either to apply themselves or to recommend a suitable candidate based on skill set. Nurole casts the net wider to make the whole process more efficient.

What motivated you to start the platform?

I have over 30 years experience as a headhunter. In 1999 I founded Blackwood Group and prior to that I spent 15 years with the Rose Partnership. As a traditional headhunter I used to find it very frustrating that I couldn't bring more diversity to searches - you just can’t do it with the traditional methodology.

The real flaw I found in the traditional headhunting process is the candidate identification stage, a lot of firms rely on what people refer to as their little black books. The problem with this is that you just get the same names being regurgitated over and over again. I saw a need to be able to cast our nets wider in order to identify stronger candidates for better matches.

Why do we need diversity in boardrooms?

I passionately believe that great governance requires real diversity. Not just of gender or ethnicity, but of experience and above all thought diversity.

I think if we can produce better candidates, cast the net wider in the recruitment process, we can produce better boards. There are some boards that are completely unrepresentative of their workforce, supply chains and customer bases.

How has Nurole grown and how will you grow it further?

I founded Nurole in 2014. The first year we were just doing the nonprofit world as a proof of concept. But it is starting to grow and now organisations are coming to us.

Almost by demographic, a lot of the people we are trying to convince to change their ways are not naturally the most digitally comfortable. Headhunting has always been a very much you rub my back I’ll rub yours process but hopefully we are starting to change that.

Image: Nurole

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