Ideas and top tips for recruiting commissioners

How do you find the right person?

05 July 2022

The role of a commissioner is a busy and varied one but how do you find the right person?

A commissioner is over 18 years old and should’ve made, or be prepared to make, the Girlguiding Promise. There are four types of commissioners:

Each commissioner role needs different skills. If you need to recruit a commissioner in your area, the new role descriptions are designed to help you find the right person, or right team. Prospective commissioners can also use the role descriptions so they can decide the role they want to do.

Skills a commissioner needs

It’s important to remember that a commissioner is a manager and will need to have, or be willing, to develop some new skills. If the prospective commissioner doesn’t have all the skills, it doesn’t matter as they can learn them through training and by doing the role.  When chatting to a prospective commissioner do talk about skills rather than how many years of experience they have. You can also highlight the transferable skills they can learn by being a commissioner.

‘I really wanted to develop my people management skills, but I couldn’t in my job. However, by being a commissioner I’m able to talk about management skills in interviews and at work’.

Looking outside of guiding

Traditionally, commissioners are recruited from within guiding, but often it’s the same people that volunteer and many areas struggle to recruit commissioners. Have you thought about looking outside of guiding? Think about the types of skills you’re looking for and whether you can find people with those skills. Such skills may be people management, committee and trustee experience, delegation skills or attention to detail. Do you know anyone that isn’t in guiding, but think would make a good commissioner? If so, chat to them and find out whether they would be interested. It doesn’t matter if they don’t have all the skills you’re looking for, they can easily pick them up. Remember to tell them that training is available, and they’ll be supported every step of the way.

Building a team

All commissioners are encouraged to appoint their own team and share the load. The new role descriptions can help you look at the different aspects of the role and how it can be divided. Then you can look at bringing people in with the skills that match the tasks. You don’t have to do the role on your own.

Highlight that they can and are encouraged to appoint their own team – the new role description helps to break down the different aspects of the role and you can bring in people with skills that match the tasks. There is no expectation that someone needs to do this all on their own. 

Flyer to advertise the role

There’s now a flyer you can use to advertise any commissioner roles you may have. Think about where you advertise. Perhaps you could advertise in a post office, supermarket, local community newsletters, or company offices close to you. Maybe a maildrop would reach a different audience.

‘We looked into a leaflet drop service that the Royal Mail offers, and although there is some expense involved, we felt it was justified if we were able to recruit.’  

If potential volunteers respond to the flyer, use the new role description to give them more information. Even if you can’t speak to them yourself, make sure you have someone available for potential volunteers to speak to.

Be open

When recruiting, be open to different approaches and styles, just because it has always been done a particular way doesn’t mean it has to be done that way. If you’re able to provide a mentor to a new commissioner, make sure you tell the prospective commissioner.


Don’t forget to tell prospective commissioners why the role is rewarding emphasising the wonderful networking and friendship opportunities it provides. And of course the joy of seeing volunteers and young members grow and develop. 

New commissioners

When you’ve recruited your new commissioner, the commissioner welcome book is a great resource for new commissioners to find out about the role.

Commissioners can also be given the Commissioner handbook. Counties can purchase these for all new commissioners.