How to make your recruitment inclusive
It's easy to show people how inclusive guiding can be!
When recruiting new members it’s important to understand that everybody’s needs, wants and motivations are different. Girlguiding is an inclusive organisation, and it's important that this is reflected when we recruit.
When recruiting, it's important that a girl can picture herself as part of your unit - this will influence whether she feels she will be welcomed in guiding.
Know the local area
It’s important that before planning recruitment from a new area, you have researched the area to find out about the communities that live there.
This will help you to decide which communities you need to reach and any other aspects that you need to consider - for example, whether you're recruiting from a very rural area without transport links or if there are likely to be a lot of people from low-income families.
Very often, cost can be a big concern for potential new members. Read our advice on including members with low income for more information.
Demographic information for your area
- The Office for National Statistics provide Diversity Mapping Tools for England and Wales.
- Additional statistics for Wales can be found on the Welsh Government's website.
- Census information for Scotland can be found on the Scotland Census website.
- Visit the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency's website for statistics on Northern Ireland.
Real role models
If you're looking to recruit girls from different communities, it can help to work with members of that community to develop a recruitment plan. They will be able to advise on any considerations that you need to take into account, such as days that meetings are held on.
Seeing people from their community involved in guiding will help girls to feel that guiding is a place they will be welcomed into.
You may also find that you recruit new volunteers through working with the local community.
The pictures that you use on recruitment materials need to reflect the girls that you want to join guiding, as well as the girls who are already actively involved. You can do this by having a wide range of diverse photos. More guidance on selecting great images can be found in our resources section.
Asking the right questions
It's alright to ask potential members relevant questions about what support they need. This is good practice for including all in guiding and means that you can fully support them to join.
A good way to start this conversation with any potential member, regardless of whether they have additional needs, is by asking the simple question - how can we support you to join Girlguiding?
Read our inclusive language guidance for tips about how to make sure your language is accessible and welcoming to all.
Be prepared to answer questions and myth bust.
Some questions are quite common and can be prepared for in advance - for example, those about costs and what funding support is available. Some questions may be more challenging - for example, if a parent would like to know in-depth information about our policies.
In these cases, it is best to be honest and tell the parent that you need to do more research before you give them an answer. Ask if you can take their details and get back to them when you have more information. This is better than ignoring a question or giving the wrong information.
Creating your stand
When creating a recruitment stand, consider how accessible it is for people looking for materials and information.
- Are recruitment materials within easy reach? This is especially important for any wheelchair users.
- Can material be read from any height?
- Do you need materials in alternative languages or formats? For large print versions of resources, contact trading. If you need resources in alternative languages, consider contacting people from the local community for more support or local university language departments.
- Have you printed some of our inclusion pages? Having these printed and available can reassure people that we are an inclusive organisation