Recruiting and retaining volunteers
The dream is to have plenty of volunteers sharing the load. To make this happen, you need to think about recruitment all the time, not just when someone leaves.
Getting ready to recruit?
What things should you think about?
- What do you need? More volunteers? More young people?
- What does it look like around you? What’s going on in the community? New schools? New housing estates? Specific social groups? What does the community need?
- Do people know where you are and what you do?
- First impressions count. Are you welcoming? Easy to find?
Parent guides are great for recruiting adults and young people. They are a brief introduction to the section, outlines the types of activities young people take part in and the skills young people will gain. This guide can be used to support Leaders to engage with parents and encourage parents to get more involved with Scouting.
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.
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.