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Six Training Exercises to Enhance Recruitment of Volunteers

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It is difficult to isolate the topic of recruitment because its ultimate success is intertwined with the development of good volunteer assignments (the product you are selling in recruitment) and with having an organization prepared to utilize volunteers' time and talents effectively when they arrive. It is important, however, to examine how potential volunteers are invited to consider becoming a part of your organization, particularly if this function is not centralized. Even if most volunteers go through a central recruitment process, all staff and volunteers within an organization are a significant part of its informal volunteer recruitment team. Thus, the principles of recruitment should be useful for staff/volunteers whether they carry out this function themselves or are ambassadors for the program.

Often when staff or volunteers of an organization are involved in recruitment, they are so anxious to fill slots or add to the membership that little care is given to finding the right person(s). Everyone can relate to the impact on the volunteer and the organization when the wrong person is recruited (i.e., the volunteer feels incompetent and/or unfulfilled, leading to performance and retention problems; the organization does not get the job done well and builds resentment or resistance to further utilization of volunteers).

This training provides a printer-ready file with 6 recruitment training exercises that can be adapted for use with:

  • the staff of an organization,

  • leadership volunteers,

  • membership/outreach committees, or

  • a group of volunteer program administrators.

The purpose of each exercise is to change the mindset of participants as they reach out for new volunteers and/or to give them tools to aid in that effort.

Six Training Exercises to Enhance Recruitment of Volunteers

  1. Remembering a time when you were recruited to be a volunteer/member.
  2. Finishing the puzzle - "Don't put a piece in the wrong spot!"
  3. What factors might be keeping people from becoming a volunteer/joining?
  4. Writing a recruitment message that speaks to the right person.
  5. Using a marketing strategy to locate the best candidates.
  6. Demonstrating persuasive, effective oral presentations to recruit new volunteers/members.