When you need to recruit new volunteers it can be helpful to think about the tasks that need completing rather than the role you want to fill – you might find two or three people carrying out the tasks flexibly works better than recruiting one ‘leader’.
We’ve created some helpful advice and tools which are designed to make finding new volunteers less challenging. Using people’s skills and interests as a starting point means you get people who really enjoy the experience of volunteering. And only being asked to do a few tasks that fit within your skillset can make volunteering seem much less scary, especially to someone totally new to Scouting.
We all love being part of a team so this is also really important to remember: focus on teams rather than titles. And remember, once they’ve joined make sure you keep them happy and show them the best that Scouting has to offer.
Focus on retention
Being recognised and rewarded helps volunteers to feel motivated and valued. Someone who feels valued as a volunteer is more likely to stick around and to look for ways to learn new skills and get more involved. This commitment is how we provide quality programmes for our young people.
Planning is vital for any successful recruitment campaign.
Think about how you are going to reach your potential volunteers, what you want them to do and how you are going to support them. Set goals and deadlines that are realistic and achievable and monitor your progress as you go along. This will allow you to adapt and change to meet the needs of your sections and your potential volunteers.
When you have decided to launch a recruitment campaign, the most important thing to do is to get your plan right! Your recruitment plan should contain the following:
1. What you want your volunteers to do
Think about what you need for your group, district or county/Area and break it down into specific tasks. For example, do you need someone to look after your group’s equipment or leaders for a new section? Do you need someone to do the accounts or someone to help with the cooking at camp? Or do you simply need an extra pair of hands on the occasional Wednesday night?
2. Consideration of any local issues
Think about any specific features of your area, for example high unemployment or new housing developments. Think also about possible sources of support – there may be businesses, the local Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) or volunteers organisations, schools or even the local media (radio stations, newspapers, etc) that could help you out.
3. What you will do to attract people to Scouting
There may be events or activities that you could invite people to help out at (make sure that any resources you need are available). Think about how you will advertise any activity or event and spread the message that you need more volunteers.
4. How you will support new adults
Don’t forget to consider how you will support any new volunteers. They will need advice and guidance over the first few months and it is important that they are supported through the various stages of the appointment process.