Volunteer Recruitment – Filling the Empty Chairs

May 1, 2019

Once you have your “A-team” leaders in place, it’s time to start filling those empty chairs with volunteers. We know recruitment may feel overwhelming, so we would like to share some simple steps that we have found to be helpful.

Determining the optimum team size for each team is an important first step. Some simple research into overall tasks and number of hours expected of each volunteer should help determine a good team size. Then we find it is helpful for team leaders to provide a list of prospective team members to a designated person for approval, this step is important to ensure that people are not approached to be on more than one team.

When leaders have their approved prospect lists, we suggest using the following guidelines to recruit team members:

  1. Personal phone calls. CGS recommends personally calling each prospective member to invite them to join the team. Our experience has been that personal communication is much more effective than an email or text. In addition, a personal phone call gives the team leader the opportunity to answer any questions right away.
  2. Unanswered calls. When a team leader reaches voicemail, we recommend leaving a brief message identifying them self, their association with the church and request a return call. Allow a day or two for the prospective volunteer to return the call, if at that point they have not called back, a second call would be appropriate.
  3. Larger teams. When larger teams are needed, team leaders may choose to enlist the help of another team member to assist with the personal phone calls. These should be highly qualified team members who have already agreed to be on the team.
  4. Training meeting. Team members who have agreed to join the team, and those who are undecided, should be invited to a training or informational meeting (at CGS we call this Team Member Orientation). This meeting provides a detailed overview of the team goals and will include specific details for each team’s responsibilities. Informational meetings should help team members feel more confident in their positions and provide the information necessary for prospective team members to make an informed decision before agreeing to serve.

Remember, recruiting highly committed and qualified people is important to the success of any team. Letting prospective volunteers know that they are the best person for the job will motivate and encourage them to say “yes”! We understand that recruitment can be a daunting task, but following the above suggestions will help you to get your best people on board.

You may also be interested in reading our blog about recruiting team leaders, click here to read How to Recruit Your “A-Team”.