Running a recruitment drive

Tips to help you plan, deliver and evaluate recruitment drives for girls, young women and volunteers

Running a recruitment drive is a great way to bring guiding to more girls

A recruitment drive is a push to raise awareness of our fantastic opportunities. The way you do it is up to you - run a stall, visit a school or hand out leaflets - just follow five simple steps for success.

1. Define your goals

Before you do anything else, ask yourself: why do I want to do this recruitment drive? This will help you plan for success, make the most of the limited time you have, and evaluate whether you have achieved what you wanted.

It's also helpful to look at your membership data including your waiting-to-join or transfer lists, volunteer enquiries, unit membership and current volunteer roles for gaps to fill through your recruitment.

If you're recruiting volunteers - how many volunteers are you looking for? What roles and skills do you need in your local area?

If you're recruiting girls - which units have spaces to offer and how many? What is the current level of awareness or perception of guiding in the community?

If you're opening a new group in a new community - who are you looking to engage? What do you know about this community?

2. Plan for success

Once you have set some achievable goals, put together a plan using our recruitment ideas for how you will achieve them using the time, skills and resources available to you and your team.

What to think about in your plan

  1. What recruitment ideas will you use?
  2. How will you involve local guiding members and supporters in this drive?
  3. How much time do you have to spend on this recruitment drive?
  4. Who will do what before, during and after the recruitment drive?
  5. When do these tasks need to be done by?
  6. Do you need to involve local partners in your recruitment drive?
  7. What resources are already available that you could use?
  8. What new resources do you need and how much will they cost?
  9. Do you need to do a risk assessment?
  10. Do you need to do any briefings or training. A simple example is an email with top tips for running a recruitment stand sent to the stall volunteers.
  11. How will you evaluate the success of your recruitment drive?

3. Ask for help

Make sure you ask local volunteers, young members, supporters and your community to help take your recruitment drive forward. Choose people with the skills you need - graphic design, photography, PR, event planning, catering, public speaking. Then share out the workload by giving people specific tasks.

4. Run the recruitment drive

  • Work together as a team to keep the momentum going.
  • If you struggle to do everything then focus on fewer actions or recruit more helpers.
  • If something works well then focus on that idea.

Leave time to follow up with prospective volunteers, families and any community contacts in the couple of days that follow each event or activity - you could even run a meet and greet event.

Evidence shows that people are more likely to join you as a volunteer or supporter if you get in touch very soon after meeting them.

5. Evaluate your recruitment drive

Take some time during and after your recruitment drive to reflect on how things went, if you're achieving what you wanted and if anything needs to change.

Don't worry if things don't go as planned. It can take a few events to get things working well. It can also take a while to see the impact of your drive - particularly if you are recruiting in an area new to guiding.

When you find something that works then you can run the same recruitment drive again.

Take on the challenge

Use the Growing Guiding Challenge resource with girls in your area to encourage them to explore practical ways to grow our membership. Then you can work together to put their ideas into action.