Promoting the role


You will have a number of considerations including cost and reach when advertising your role. Don’t restrict yourself to one way of advertising, choose a range of approaches to increase the chance of attracting the people you want to recruit. Online options which are free or low-cost will allow you to reach beyond your usual network. Use the results of your skills and diversity reviews to inform your decisions on advertising.

Making sure that you have a thorough job description that clearly defines what the job is and the skills it requires without any unconscious bias is a great first interaction with a potential candidate.

Girl, Wheelchair user, holding a yellow slide to roll a ball


Having the position open for applications for 28 days (4 weeks) is best practice to allow people enough time to see the opportunity and apply to ensure a wide reach.

Inclusive recruitment

When compiling and designing candidate documentation, you should consider:

Imagery: are images inclusive and representative of your work, and the community?

Language: are you using gendered language, jargon that might exclude people or phrases that could discriminate against some candidates?

Sample language: “We are committed to, and value the principles of diversity, equality and inclusion. We strive to provide an inclusive and supportive working environment where all employees feel respected and supported in fulfilling their potential. We encourage and welcome applications from all, regardless of background and are particularly interested to hear from those currently under-represented in the sports sector.”

Accessibility: Are your documents available in accessible formats?

You can use the Microsoft Accessibility Checker as an easy guide to creating a document that will be accessible.

Are your documents clear and concise?

You can use the Activity Alliance Inclusive Communications factsheet linked in our Resources section.

Person Specification: Consider essential skills and experience very carefully to ensure you are not excluding strong, diverse candidates. Governance or board experience is often included but is that necessary for your specific Board appointment?

Consider whether knowledge of your sport is also a requirement. Is that knowledge well represented on already, and if so, would you consider an individual without experience of working within the Sport sector?

Advertising – Choose a range of approaches to increase the chance of attracting the people you want to recruit. 

Location: are you advertising locally, regionally or nationally? Are your recruiting on a number of platforms, including across social media channels,  that increase your reach in under-represented groups? 

Some interesting platforms for consideration include:

  • Do-It Trustee Finder
  • Activity Alliance 
  • Bar in the Community (for trustees with legal skills)
  • Charity Job  
  • CIPD  (for trustees with HR skills, select “volunteering” in the salary list to get a free listing)
  • Diversity jobsite 
  • DiverseJobsMatter
  • DiversityLink
  • The Diversity Dashboard
  • Ethnic Jobsite
  • Evenbreak
  • Getting On Board
  • Honorary Treasurers Forum
  • LinkedIn
  • Local CVS or Volunteer Bureau
  • Media Trust (for trustees with media/communications skills)
  • NED on board
  • Pink Jobs
  • Proud vercida
  • Reach
  • Sporting Equals
  • The voice 
  • Trustees unlimited
  • UK Sport job site
  • Women on Boards
  • Young Trustees Movement 

Location Specific

  • Good Moves (Scotland)
  • The Fore/Bulldog Trust (primarily goes to London professionals)
  • Team London (for London charities)
Female wheelchair user being pedalled by an older woman on a bicycle

Recruitment in action

Candidate Pack - In order to promote your vacancy widely and give potential candidates relevant information about the role, it is advisable to consider the development of a brochure for circulation to potential candidates. The brochure should contain helpful information pertaining to the appointment including:

  • Background information on the organisation – this could include any helpful information relating to the organisational mission, values, history, strategy, size, scale/reach, relevant financial information, membership and any other relevant details.
  • Diversity Statement
  • Job Description 
  • Person Specification 
  • Time Commitment - expressed as days per month
  • Dates of Board meetings for the upcoming year
  • Location of Board meetings  - are they likely to be virtual or a hybrid model of in-person and virtual meetings?
  • Term Limit 
  • Remuneration (if any) and expenses
  • Information on the application process
  • Point of contact listed for informal inquiries
  • Include an Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

It is important to find out access needs of a potential Trustee as this is not only a legal requirement, but will inform the process as well as how these needs may shape board meetings going forward. This could be done as a question in the application form and by including your organisation’s commitment to equal opportunities and diversity in the application pack.

The Diversity in Sport Leadership programme has given me the opportunity … to transfer my professional experience into a governance role and begin to drive the change I want to see in sport.

Jennifer Thomas, Appointed to England Netball

Measuring success

A common barrier to a diverse field is having a narrow range of avenues for advertising the role.  It is important to advertise your role openly and transparently to ensure that your opportunity is seen by a wide range of people, via a number of platforms and networks. This means having a clear strategy on sharing details through

  • social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook
  • relevant interest networks based on the skills you’re looking for e.g HR, Finance, Safeguarding
  • where to promote the role through advertising platforms (paid or free)
  • newsletters
  • staff and trustee LinkedIn pages and personal networks
  • sector platforms

Having someone with a responsibility to share the job details and leveraging existing networks is important to increase your chances of a larger and more varied field of interested candidates.

One way of reducing the possibility of unconscious bias in selection is to apply elements of blind recruitment in the process.  You could anonymise applications before the selection panel reviews them by removing names, dates of qualifications and even university or school names from applications. This reduces the chance of bias relating to age, gender, ethnicity and educational background.


Expert help

Expert search partners will identify and engage a broad and diverse range of individuals from different sectors who may be potential applicants. Many of these people may not be actively looking for a role, and not reviewing adverts regularly.  The search team will approach candidates to present the role, advocate for the opportunity, seek referrals, answer questions, explain the process and encourage them to submit an application by the deadline. 

Resources for the board