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Recruiting Youth Commissioners

It isn’t always easy to find the perfect person to take on the Youth Commissioner role. These tips and tricks will help you find one.

Youth Commissioners are important local roles for 18-25-year-olds helping to support and champion youth shaped locally.

There are now over 600 Youth Commissioners doing amazing things across the UK.

Applying to become Youth Commissioner was genuinely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve learned so much, got to work with a really great team, and made a big difference to the experience of young people in Scouts.

A Youth Commissioner in the UK

The 5 steps to recruiting youth commissioners

Step 1: Plan out the process

Youth Commissioners are usually recruited through a search process (similar to how manager roles are recruited). You can do whatever works best for you locally, but it’s important that the process is open and inclusive.

Step 2: Form a search group

You’ll need to put together a team of people to run the search. This should include the District, County or Area Commissioner, since the Youth Commissioner will be working closely with them once appointed. Try to include some young people in the search group too, such as previous or other local Youth Commissioners.

Step 3: Define the role

Consider creating an information pack which you can promote during the recruitment process. A role description is helpful but doesn’t always provide all the information someone might want to know. You can use the templates in the tools box on this page or create your own.

Step 4: Make an application form

You should create a simple application form for people to use to express their interest in the role. Use this as an opportunity to ask some initial questions which will help you shortlist which people to interview. You could use an online form, or this template document.

Step 5: Get the word out

Once you’re ready, it’s time to promote the role far and wide. Remember that the places and methods where you’re most likely to reach 18 to 25-year-olds might be different to how you recruit for other roles.

Make sure that the message is shared with young people locally. You may want to attend a Scout Network activity to provide more information and answer people’s questions about the role.

Don’t forget that older Explorers and Young Leaders are nearly 18, so might be ready to become Youth Commissioners soon too.

Many youth commissioners build up a small team of deputies to help them with their work. These people will have been gaining loads of experience while working together and might be the perfect people to apply.

That’s one of the reasons we recommend that youth commissioners appoint deputies - it’s so helpful for succession planning.

In a County, you might be able to encourage a District Youth Commissioner who is close to finishing their role to take on the challenge at a County level.

You could run a report on Compass to see the 18 to 25-year-olds involved in your local Scouts area and email them about the vacancy. Here’s a template email you could use.

You could also advertise the vacancy in some local Scouts newsletters too.

Social networking sites are a great way to reach young people who might be interested.

Be sure to share the vacancy on your local Scouts social media pages website. Take a look at our tips and guidance for using social media.

If you have a university in your local area, you could advertise the role to students.

You can find more support with this on our page, offering support and guidance on how to recruit students.

What happens next

Once you’ve received some applications, it’s time for the search group to shortlist candidates and invite them to an interview.

Make sure your interviews are set up to be welcoming and accessible. You may decide to conduct the interviews online using video call software such as Zoom.

When you’ve agreed on a candidate, don’t forget to follow the appointment process and provide a warm welcome to their new role and team.

The process of recruiting a Youth Commissioner is a perfect place to start if you’re also looking to appoint deputies. You’ll already have a shortlist of people who are interested in a role championing youth shaped who might be perfect to take on a Deputy Youth Commissioner role.

It’s so important to keep engaging with applicants who weren’t successful in getting the role.

Are they suitable for a different role locally? Could you find ways to involve them in local scouting in other ways?