Assessment Identifies and Prioritizes Needs
Recruiting begins with assessment. It’s impossible to look for candidates to serve as commissioners unless you know
- How many of what type of commissioners are needed?
- The organizational structure of a council or district will determine the number of administrative commissioners (assistant council or district commissioners) needed. In developing the structure, consider span of control: how many unit commissioners can each administrative commissioner lead effectively?
- The number, type, and health of units in a district will help determine the number of unit commissioners needed. A new unit needs a unit commissioner dedicated to serving only that unit for three years; units at risk (those with significant issues that could jeopardize continuing operation) also need a unit commissioner dedicated to serving only that unit. Commissioner Tools can identify the number, type, and health of units in the district.
- Consider the smallest possible responsibilities. What could you ask a new commissioner to do that would require a minimal time commitment and offer an opportunity to learn about the rewards Unit Service offers? Meeting small responsibilities can enable a large impact on units.
- When will they be needed?
- Existing units with the greatest need of service should be the first to have a unit commissioner assigned. Commissioner Tools can identify units with no commissioner assigned and current unit health.
- The district membership committee should be able to provide plans for forming new units which will identify the need for new-unit commissioners.
- What experience is required?
- Our basic training and onboarding processes often will enable a volunteer with no prior experience as in Unit Service – or in Scouting – to be an effective commissioner.
- Experience can be a factor in determining the number of units a commissioner can service effectively; prior experience as a commissioner is an asset in serving new units and units at risk.
- What skills are essential?
- A servant’s heart is a prerequisite.
- The work to be done will identify other skills of value. Leadership skills are an asset for administrative commissioners, for example.
Things change: the health of units, an unexpected opportunity to start a new unit, a volunteer’s need to step back for a bit. All can change the number and type of commissioners needed. While a base-line assessment should be completed at least annually, it should be reviewed periodically throughout the year and adjusted as needed to reflect changes. And remember, when recruiting needs change, the plan should change, too.