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Six simple steps for recruiting volunteers

Need some hands-on, full-of-energy, good-at-getting-stuff-done adults to join your team? Follow these six simple steps.

Step 1

First of all, work out what tasks need doing - think about the tasks rather than a specific role that needs filling.

Step 2 

Now think about the skills and qualities needed to do the tasks.

Remember, you don't need everyone to be Bear Grylls! Look for people who’ll fit into your team with the right personality and skills. For example, if one of the tasks is ‘planning and running activities for Beavers’ you’ll want someone who’s creative, who feels comfortable with younger children, who’s patient, who has lots of energy and is playful and fun. 

Step 3

Spread the net as far as possible when you’re looking for new people to join the team! You want to find the best people for the tasks that need doing and that means you’ll need to look beyond your immediate friends, family and existing volunteers. 

Finding volunteers

Step 4 

Hopefully now you have a list of names of potential volunteers. Recruiting long-term works when you get the right people into the right roles - they enjoy it and they are likely to want to stay. Compare the skills and qualities of people on the list to those needed for your tasks. Be careful not to make assumptions about people that you don’t know. Just make a note to have a chat with the people you’re not sure about. 

Put the person you think will be best suited to the task at the top of your list.  

Step 5

Be brave and ask the person you want for the task directly, in person. The worst that can happen is they say no. Don't put out a general plea because people will assume that someone else will do it. 

Be upfront about the task as well as what’s in it for them and for the Group.

If they say no, try to find out why by asking open questions. If someone can’t help weekly maybe they can help once a month instead? Remember, being flexible can really help. 

For more advice check out the Four week Challenge.

Step 6

Offer your new recruit support from the get-go by linking them up with a buddy or mentor who can show them the ropes and answer any questions they might have. Existing volunteers can attend the Mentoring and Coaching training (Module 39) to learn how to support new volunteers.

Watch the Volunteer Journey Video with your new recruit