Adult Recruitment

Getting the right person for the right job, in the right place, and at the right time is not an easy task. There are several ways to recruit adults for every role in Scouting. To build a pool of adults and maintain their quality and quantity, an NSO must have a clear view of its needs, and a clear recruitment procedure. It must undertake deliberate and ongoing recruitment of adults for every role and function.

The World Adults in Scouting Policy is quite explicit in its message – select and recruit the right person! Getting the right person for the right job takes time. When we invest time in selecting and recruiting the right person for a role, and then train, coach, mentor and support them, they are more likely to stay longer in Scouting.

Recruitment in the NSO

Recruitment takes place at all levels within the organisation, for all positions or functions, voluntary or paid, temporary or permanent. It happens when we answer a need that, generally, can be:

  1. filling a current vacancy (including those derived from newly created positions or due to succession planning for any position or function in the short or medium term); 
  2. attracting a certain number of adults within a growth or expansion strategy (generally new adults); and
  3. filling positions in temporary work teams (generally with adults already linked to the organisation) within the framework of an event or development of a particular project).
Types of Recruitment Processes:

In the past, Scouting focused on a small number of recruitment methods, or simply appointed someone to a role. Today, however it is more effective to have a variety of methods to recruit our adults as people respond to volunteering opportunities in varying ways. The more methods and tools used, the greater the chance of success. Let’s look at a few methods and tools.

Targeted Recruitment requires a carefully planned approach usually aimed at a small audience or an individual. Use this method when trying to recruit volunteers with specific skills or uncommon characteristics. Determine what you need, who can provide it, how you can reach them, and how you can motivate them. Once you identify your volunteers, you can take your recruitment message directly to them.

Concentric Circle Recruitment involves making contact with people who are already in direct or indirect contact with Scouting or expanding your existing Scouting circles. These might be friends or family of volunteers, former members of Scouting, parents or siblings of Scouts, or those who have been impacted by the problem you are trying to address.

Concentric Circle Recruitment is effective because of personalized appeals to individuals who are already closely connected to Scouting. The downside is that, because you’re working through your existing groups it can lack diversity and may not attract “new blood” in a way that another recruitment method would.

Ambient Recruitment can be used when your organisation is a part of a community where the members of that community feel strongly connected to the Mission of Scouting and want to support Scouting. Ambient recruitment works best when a community feels a strong connection to Scouting. For example, parents of school-aged children are likely to volunteer if their child’s school has a Scout Group as they have a vested interest. Ambient recruitment is a method that may also work when your community are your volunteers, and you want to recruit for a specific role or project from within that cohort.

Warm Body Recruitment or Mass Recruitment is useful when you need many volunteers for a short period and the qualifications for the task are minimal, or the skills can be learned easily. It may include things like assisting at specific Scouting events or even recruiting additional volunteers. To achieve success, you should broadcast your need for volunteers as broadly as possible. Methods include distributing brochures, posting posters, speaking to groups, placing notices in appropriate media, posting on your website and other websites, and using word of mouth. Even though the focus is on casting a wide net, you will still need a screening policy in place to make sure you accept volunteers who are the right fit for your organisation.

Six-step Method of Recruitment was developed by UK Scouting and has been used with great success over many years. When the Six Steps are followed through in process, it maximises the opportunity that you get the right person for the right job. The Six Steps are self-explanatory:

  1. Define the job that needs to be done
  2. Identify the skills and qualities needed
  3. Generate a list of who can do the job
  4. Target the best choice
  5. Ask someone to help you
  6. Offer support and welcome them into Scouting

Relationship Recruitment requires building a relationship with a prospective leader or adult supporter over time. The exact period can vary according to the direction and strength of the relationship being developed. It is a useful method when building trust, assessing the suitability of the person, and selling Scouting is possible. After finding potential adults, recruiters, managers and other leaders must build a relationship with each other to increase their interest and trust. Once the recruiter qualifies them, the next step is to identify the specific job/role criteria for the prospective adult and use that information to get them involved for Scouting.


See also:

Further External Reading

How to Create Job/Role Description

Volunteers in Scouting Toolkit

Volunteers in Scouting Toolkit 2

Recruitment Campaign Guide

Recruitment Inspirations for Growth

Six-step Method of Recruitment


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