Applications, nominations and voting

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If you have a large and established core group, you may want to consider inviting applications or nominations for certain roles. This approach can work well if it is particularly important to recruit someone with the right skillset and attitude, or to make your group more democratic and representative of your community. Generally this approach will suit well-established groups with a more formal structure.

Applications and interviews. Developing application forms and inviting candidates who return the forms to a brief interview can help you to gauge who is the right person for a role when you are likely to have a number of people interested in the position. Interviews need not be anything more than an informal chat in a local café over a cup of coffee. Make sure you publicise the role widely, with details of the job description and person specification, a link to the application form, where to send it and a deadline for applications.

Nominations and voting. As your group becomes established and more formal, you might want to consider a process of nominations and voting to recruit elected members. Recruiting group members in this way will promote a more democratic and representative organisation, which in turn will help to ensure local people feel they have a say and are part of the process. The process involves inviting nominations with a supporting statement from the candidate by a certain deadline. The candidate statements and ballot papers can then be circulated to all group members and supporters in order for them to vote for their preferred candidate by post or at an open meeting, such as an AGM. The legal structure of your group will affect members’ voting rights.

Case Studies
Country: UK

Bath and West Community Energy’s Election Policy sets out the process for nominating and voting for Non-Executive Directors. They hold an introductory meeting for members interested in becoming Non-Executive Directors in advance of the deadline for returning nomination forms. Nominations must be supported by one proposing member and at least one supporting member, and can be made at the AGM at which the election is held. Candidates need to meet specified eligibility criteria and submit a statement with their nomination of up to 750 words outlining why they would make a good Director. The statements are copied and included with ballot papers and circulated to members before the AGM at which the election takes place. Vote counting is conducted under a simple majority system.