Advisors · Advisory boards

Has anyone used ExecRank to source advisors or find advisory roles?

David Berkowitz

August 24th, 2015

I recently got a pitch from ExecRank which helps companies find board members and advisors, and then has members pay about $200/month to search for open board seats and network with other members. I'm skeptical of the model and am more focused on supporting companies I'm already working with right now, but I am curious to hear if anyone's used them and what that experience has been like.

[Update: The answers here are astounding and should give anyone pause before spending any time or money with ExecRank and the like. Thanks all for continuing to share your experiences.]

Michael Williams Sr. Mgr, Sales Compensation at AIG Life & Retirement

March 16th, 2016

Sarah Oliver,
It appears that Jonathan Aspature, Chairmen & CEO at Exec Rank is a member of your board since 2014.      I Might be looking too much into this, but something seems off to me by that and your comments.

Denise Corcoran CEO, Leadership & Organizational Game-Changer | CEO Advisor | Consultant | Coach | Growing Leaders that Grow Companies

May 23rd, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Somehow I missed many of the prior updates since March till now.  I also promised to update the group about my experience with ExecRank.

I joined ExecRank the 1st week of Jan.  As of this month, I have downgraded my membership (till next month).  Yes, they do have a downgraded membership not advertised on the website from what I can see.  Maybe it's new.

In the last 5 months, I had somewhere between 40-50 board opportunities opened.  Not one interview to date.  I actually have tracked all opportunities on a spreadsheet and where in the 5 step process (with dates) that ExecRank has before application goes to the interview stage.  Once I started to get visibility to how long it took for my application to move from 1 stage to another, I started to call various managers/directors at ExecRank to get answers why it took so long.

I also had a problem with lack to transparency (except for canned generic emails) in ExecRank with those of us who are footing the bill for ExecRank to stay in business.  I also had a problem with why the companies seeking board members have nothing at stake $$, have no incentives to move forward in a reasonable fashion and to eliminate those not serious.

Some of the things I found out when I probed deeper, especially why the process took so long once an application was "under review," I was told that ExecRank sends as many as 100 applications for one opportunity.  No wonder why no one is getting any interviews!  ExecRank does nothing to really match or select "best fit" candidates for board opportunities from what I can see.  I have no clue on where their value add is.

Final comment ... I did an experiment and actually signed up as a company seeking board advisors.  Again I was curious why it took so long.  I did not carry the experiment all the way.  I got a flurry of broadcast emails about the various advisor days.  Beyond that I did not see any attempt to engage me into the process as a company seeking board members.

I will be canceling at mid June in keeping with their cancellation requirements.  Hope my experience was helpful for someone.

Andy Mercy Managing Director at Dabba

December 24th, 2015

I'm the CEO of Dabba Restaurants and have used ExecRank for the last 6 months and added three new advisory board members using their platform. Honestly, I’ve been nothing but impressed with the experience. The executives they suggested were a great fit and it is clear to me that this is an incredible company disrupting how companies find board members and advisors, and they have a great team working to make the right matches for both the company and the executives. 

Ray Ostroski Vice President-Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Shenandoah Telecommunications Company

January 3rd, 2016

I have used ExecRank to search for paid Board positions for the last year or so and recently landed my first paid board position with a start up company in VA. I am very pleased with the information provided by ExecRank relative to prospective board positions as well as their follow-up once I have applied for board positions. They have been great to work with and I intend to continue to work with ExecRank going forward.

Anu Shukla Founder & CEO at RewardsPay Inc.

March 23rd, 2016

I just wanted to provide a bit more color on my experience. I just think that the business model is stacked against those that are paying the monthly fee. It is tempting for them to keep on telling you a meeting or placement is being worked on and is around the corner because they have your credit card. Services like this would be a lot more believable if they only took a success based fee and screened the prospective candidates better. As I signed up for it , I was concerned that it was a waste of time and money. And for me that is exactly what it turned out to be - and I gave it 3 months plus one more for the notice period.
Also, it feels like a "Board mill" with lots of messages and meetings in the works but  no follow through. 

Stanley Ph.D. Executive Coach, Culture Change Expert, Organizational Leadership Professor, Author, and Speaker.

April 14th, 2016

I signed up in December and opted out in March.  I had 34 applications pending at some stage of their process and NOT one interview. I tried to find out dates when many of their companies registered to recruit directors/advisors. No info available.  Some may have been sitting around for months since they registered to recruit directors/advisors, which tells me that many are not really interested at all. If a company seriously wants to recruit directors/advisors they state their time frame upfront, e.g. 60 days, 90 days, etc.  No such information available..Plus, I reviewed many company start-ups who registered (for free). Look at these companies and you will find they are not close to being at the stage of taking on advisors  Many do not have products/services and client base developed to the point of even becoming a company.  You don't become a company and then try to develop a product/service and clients.  It is the other way around. The $195 monthly fee I paid for three months was a complete wast of my time and money.

Mark Miller VP Marketing & CSO at Healthy Directions (A Helen of Troy Company)

May 23rd, 2016

I promised the group that I would keep an update. As of this month I have resigned from ExecRank. In my experience all that was happening was that I was signed onto prospective companies, but no interview. I had about 30 of them. When I said I was thinking of resigning all of a sudden there was a prospective company that sent an email exchange but it was clear that they were so early stage that "Advisor" was going to be "full time" work. Plus it was in the UK. The solution that was offered was to throw more prospective companies at me to raise the list. After 6 months it was going nowhere and interestingly on my own, through my own networks and branding I got multiple expressions of interest that have led to Board of Directorships and Advisory Boards. So I have resigned. Waste of time and money, but so be it.... The information flow was not what was needed, expected or appropriate.

Sam Glassenberg Chief Executive Officer

August 24th, 2015

Based on some quick research I did when they contacted me, it appears to be a total scam. 

Sarah Oliver CEO at sarah oliver handbags

December 16th, 2015

I used ExecRank to find advisors for my company and found the service incredibly valuable and easy to use. We were just featured on Shark Tank and wound up closing a deal with three sharks! ExecRank’s team offered great advice and the advisors I hired have been one of the best investments I’ve made as a CEO. I probably never would have hired advisors without a model like ExecRank’s that removes the initial cost barrier for recruiting top executive talent to add to my board.  

Mark Miller VP Marketing & CSO at Healthy Directions (A Helen of Troy Company)

December 24th, 2015

Andy, I appreciate the note and your experiences. Having joined about 6 weeks ago I have noticed a number of companies that match my skills & experiences and so I am confident that some truly productive relationships will arise. It seems that there is a great value for the smaller companies that want to take it up a notch or two, but need resources and/or tap into experience to help navigate these opportunities. Thanks for your feedback.