Recruiting new volunteers can be done in lots of different ways. Finding the right tactics for your club, and the roles you need to fill, are important to help your recruitment be more effective.
The first step for recruitment is to understand your current volunteer community. Completing the Workforce Mapping Tool will show you where a volunteer may have numerous roles, or where there are gaps to fill. When you have highlighted which roles you are recruiting for, you can start getting on with finding new people.
There are a few tried and tested methods you could use; the information below will help you get started. Check out the resources at the bottom of the page to give things a go in your club.
Look inside the club
Looking at your membership, who already have a strong attachment to the club and are likely to be keen, is a good first step. The majority of your volunteers will come from within the club.
Three types of people who fit these criteria are players, spectators and parents. Research has shown that often people aren’t aware the club is run by volunteers, or that there are roles to be filled. Raising awareness about opportunities may seem obvious, but is a very important step to take in recruitment. A club may look like it is running smoothly from the outside, meaning prospective volunteers think their skills are not needed.
- Current senior players – many players are keen to get involved with coaching other sections or hold voluntary committee posts.
- Spectators – your home supporters are going to be invested in the success of the club. They may be happy to assist with various match day duties to support your players and the venue.
- Parents – many parents attend training and matches to support their children and it's a natural progression to become involved in the team. Assistance with coaching, officiating, driving or catering are a number of productive ways to get involved. Many clubs canvas parents’ professions and skills to see how they could help.
Oundle RFC have been very successful with having a rotation of parent volunteers to help with weekend club activities. For advice on how they achieved this, watch their How To video and read their step-by-step guide to help you do the same.
Additionally, you could use the Volunteer Sign Up sheet on your notice board so that volunteer vacancies are advertised in the clubhouse.
Publicity is vitally important in the recruitment of volunteers as keen individuals might not be aware of the opportunities or the channels available for them to get involved in local rugby.
Promoting your club in the local community can help reach people new to the area, those unaware of the club and its opportunities, or people whose interest in the game has lapsed.
There are numerous ways to attract attention to your club, some obvious, and others more creative. Sometimes the less obvious methods can prove the most effective. Some options include:
- Local newspaper advertisements and match reports
- Club website
- Posters and flyers in local shops, pubs and restaurants
- “Come and Try” club sessions
- Supporters’ clothing
- Active recruitment through club members in local town centres or at community events
- Sponsorship through local businesses
Internal publicity is equally important to ensure your club community is aware of the volunteer needs and where help might be required. If you’re putting lots of effort into external publicity, take a little time to replicate this within the club too.
Cheshunt RFC recruited lots of new volunteers by advertising roles online and using their social media. Watch their “How To” video and read their guide to give you some ideas.
Young volunteers can bring a wealth of volunteering skills, including enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to give a community rugby club new impetus. Find out more about our Young Rugby Ambassador programme.
Burton RFC have successfully recruited and supported a large network of Young Rugby Ambassadors. Watch their How To video and read the guidance to see what advice they have to give.
Gosport & Fareham RFC have created a successful young match official academy providing support to matches much wider than just the club. If you have a shortage of referees, take a look at their How To video and associated guidance to find out more.
Recruitment tools & resources
There are lots of resources to help your volunteer recruitment progress. Take a look at the list below and talk to your Rugby Development Officer about how to access these.
Workforce Mapping Tool: Identify your current workforce, where multiple roles may be held and where gaps might be in your volunteer community by using the Workforce Mapping Tool with your committee.
Volunteer Recruitment Workshop: Struggling for ideas for how to find new volunteers? This workshop and guidebook can help with new ideas and tactics, tried and tested across rugby and other sports.
Volunteer Retention Workshop: Found volunteers but not sure how to keep them engaged? Talk to your Rugby Development Officer about accessing this workshop to discuss new ideas and steps to follow.
Project and Workforce Planning: Running a particular project or event that needs volunteers? Use the Project Planning Tool to map out who you need and when.
Volunteer Role Sign Up: Help promote vacant roles within your club with a Sign Up Sheet showing what roles are available to all members.
Club Skills Audit: Want to know more about what skills and expertise your membership could offer? Conduct a Club Skills Audit to find out more about your community.
Induction for New Volunteers: Work through the Informal Induction Checklist with new volunteers you have recruited to make sure no steps have been missed.