What Makes a Great Senior Membership Officer?

Finding the right people to lead and support your membership team is crucial. Though every organisation has its own concept of the “ideal” employee, most roles demand specific competencies and proficiencies.  

Previously, we discussed what you might look for if you were hiring a head of membership for your team. Today, we’ll be continuing our series of recruitment advice, with an insight into the crucial features of a senior membership officer.  

Senior membership officers are individuals that support programmes and membership managers in the development and implementation of crucial strategies for group growth. Here are some of the characteristics that matter most to this role.  


A Passion for the Membership Organisation

Whenever you’re recruiting a compelling new candidate for your team, it’s important to check how well they understand your membership body. A broad knowledge of what your group does, and what you stand for can ensure cultural fit. It also demonstrates the passion of the potential employee and their commitment to helping you achieve your goals.  

A Senior Membership Officer needs to know more than just the basics of what your community does. This person must have in-depth insight into your strategic vision, as they’ll be working with the leadership in your team to drive new signups and maintain existing members.  

Look for someone who can explain how they would sell the benefits of being a member in your professional body to people considering you for the first time. Sales and customer skills may be useful here.  


Relationship Management Skills 

Senior Membership Officers are experts in relationships. They know how to connect with people from all backgrounds, and often have a high level of emotional intelligence.  

When working on behalf of your organisation, your Senior Membership Officer will develop close connections with key members and stakeholders, including investors. They may even act as a representative for your group at trade shows, conferences, meetings, and events.  

The best candidate will be someone that’s both naturally warm and likeable. When in an interview, ask your potential officer how they would plan to bring a new member into your community. Assess how well they consider the feelings and expectations of all the people they’d interact with on your team.  


An Ability to Work Solo or In a Team

Often, Senior Membership Officers are required to pivot between different working styles. One day, they may need to operate according to their own initiative, following up with a stakeholder, or pursuing a strategy for a member. In these moments, the ideal candidate will need to show excellent judgement and respect for your organisation’s values.  

On other days, however, your Senior Membership Officer will need to work well as part of a team. They might interact with the head of marketing, suggesting new ways to attract members based on recent feedback. They’ll often support the Membership Assessment Advisory Panel too, looking for ways to maximise membership retention and growth.  

The right team member here is someone who can work just as well, regardless of whether they’re on their own, or surrounded by people. 


Excellent IT Skills

The world is evolving at a rapid pace, with new technology emerging all the time. Membership bodies aren’t immune to the arrival of advanced digital strategies and programmes. Many modern groups are now embracing the power of technology to learn more about their members.  

During a competency-based interview, check that your Senior Membership Officer understands the importance of analytics for your team. Ask them to tell you about a time when they analysed statistical data and found actionable insights for a previous group. Or discuss their ability to implement new procedures and systems, like CRM tools.  

These resources will provide Senior Membership Officers with useful quantitative data that they can use to drive new strategies for membership retention.  


Exceptional Communication

Finally, we mentioned above that some Senior Membership Officers act as a representative for their organisations at meetings and events. This means that these individuals need to be professional, approachable, and excellent at communication.  

As part of their day-to-day responsibilities, Senior Membership Officers interact with dozens of different people, ranging from members to shareholders, head of membership personnel, and more. This means that they need to be able to speak in a variety of languages, to make sure they’re understood by each audience.  

When assessing your candidates, look for both oral and written communication skills. Good reporting and presentation abilities are also useful, particularly for officers who will be working with analytics and liaising with investors.  

About Us 

The membershipbespoke group remains the only specialist recruitment organisation in the UK, which offers a dedicated service tailored to the needs of Trade Associations, Unions, Professional and Regulatory Bodies. 

We use our considerable expertise in successfully recruiting for positions across every department within a membership context. To find out more call us on 0203 4403653 or email us here. 

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