A new national register has been launched to provide employers with independent, expert advice on appointing non-executive directors.
The register was launched at an Institute of Directors conference on the changing role of non-executives following the Higgs Review.
The review of non-executive directors by former investment banker Derek Higgs recommended significant changes to recruitment and training to improve the diversity and accountability of these individuals.
Betty Thayer, chief executive of exec-appointments.com, told delegates the aim of the register was to provide up-to-date information about non-executive vacancies, guidance on how to find the right non-executive as well as information on training courses available.
She told the conference that fulfilling Higgs' recommendations would mean three times the existing number of non-executives would be needed.
The Higgs Review found that almost half of non-exec posts were recruited through personal contacts, only four per cent had a formal interview and just one per cent obtained their job through answering an advertisement.
Thayer urged employers to cast as wide a net as possible to identify more female candidates and applicants from ethnic backgrounds so that company boards reflect the diversity of their workforces.
“Diversity is a big topic at the moment. Finding qualified, diverse candidates can take a long time because there are just not many out there. But it is worthwhile, particularly if you look at the composition of your company," she said.
The register will be available through www.exec-appointments.com from 15 April.