Recruiting Quality Training Staff

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Training Summary Recruiting is an ongoing responsibility. This session will provide an overview of the steps involved in recruiting quality district or council training staff and will allow participants to take a step-by-step practice run through the recruiting process.
Time Required 45 minutes
Target Audience
  • Training committee
  • New district training chairs
  • Council or district training event chairs
Learning Objectives At the end of this session, participants will be able to

  • Identify needs.
  • Identify people resources.
  • Implement the steps involved in recruiting new district or council training staff to fill those needs.
Training Format Lecture, discussion, and role-play: Recruiting new staff members
Required Materials
  • Flip chart and markers
  • For each participant:
  • Prospect Work Sheet
  • Role-Play Scripts 1 and 2
  • Selecting District People, No. 34512
  • Leadership Training Committee Guide, No. 34169A


Why People Volunteer

We must understand people’s goals and interests and what motivates them to volunteer for additional roles. Many of those factors include the following.

  • They desire fun and fellowship.
  • They want to feel like they are Belonging to a team.
  • They wish to develop and improve their personal skills.
  • They look forward to making new friends and associating with people not normally found in their career or community life.
  • They seek recognition and fulfillment that they do not get through their career.
  • They believe in Scouting’s values and principles.
  • They want to help other people.
  • They want to get away from the drudgery of their work, and do something different and FUN—something they would like to do but do not feel they could earn a living doing.

Why Volunteers Stay

  • They appreciate Scouting’s role in their child’s education.
  • They were given proper orientation.
  • They had adequate training.
  • They enjoy the opportunity to expand their horizons.
  • They enjoy fellowship with other Scouters.
  • They enjoy recognition for their service.
  • They have FUN.

Why Volunteers Leave

  • They had no orientation for their position.
  • There was a lack of training.
  • They were not given specific assignments.
  • They were not given sufficient responsibility.
  • There was poor communication with the chairperson.
  • There was a lack of recognition.
  • There was a lack of personal satisfaction.
  • Personal time commitments interfered.

Recruiting New Staff Members

Often when we need to recruit a new staff member, we use one of two methods.

The first method is pulling recruits from an existing trainer list. The second method is thinking of everyone that we know who we think would fit the bill. By recruiting new staff this way, we either run out of people to recruit or we start asking the same people over and over again to fill our needs.

The problem with these methods is that we either do not fill our staff needs or we recruit people who might not be the ideal match to the position.

The process that follows, outlines an effective process of finding the right person to fill your staff needs.

Before You Begin: Develop a List of Needs

Before you can recruit new staff, it is important to know what you need. Recruits will want to know their responsibilities and your expectations for them. Having the answers to those questions at hand also will help you naturally avoid a common problem. For example, a group of trainers who are given no specific tasks will do exactly what they are asked to do—nothing.

Ask participants: What are some positions that you need to fill for your district, council, or event?

List the answers on the flip chart. Possible answers include:

  • District trainers
  • Event chairs
  • Council trainers
  • Council training events
  • Certified trainers
  • Train the trainer courses
  • Event trainers
  • Skill instructors
  • Session leaders

Distribute the Prospect Work Sheet and have participants fill in as much information as possible, listing a specific position description and a list of skills that an ideal prospect would possess.

When participants have had time to work on their work sheets, share several of them with the entire group. Then tell participants: Once you have defined the position you’re looking for, you can begin the recruiting process.

Step 1: Identifying Your Staffing Needs

Critical to the success of your training program is the selection of quality staff who represent the values of the Boy Scouts of America. The selection process begins with identifying the number of people needed and any specific talents they should have.

Important in staffing is planning for your succession. Consider prospects for key positions a year or two in advance. Who might have the skills? Cultivate them in advance. Create a position of responsibility for the person you are cultivating. Build good rapport with that person.

Prepare a position description for your training staff. This will help both in identifying prospects and in the actual recruiting process. Don’t use a “canned” description—make it specific to your current needs.

Your district executive or council staff can provide many support materials and can share recruiting techniques and other information that will be vital to your search for a quality training staff.

Step 2: Develop a List of Prospects

Develop a list of prospects that closely fit the training needs for your event or training staff needs. Here are some tips:

  • Consider current Scouters, Scouting families, former Scouters, Wood Badge bead recipients, and recommendations from other Scouters.
  • Brainstorm by yourself and with others to identify potential candidates.
  • Be sure potential candidates demonstrate the values of the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives.
  • Prioritize prospects for specific needs.

Consider forming a “nominating committee” to identify and help in recruiting prospects. The result can be a broader range of candidates, “buy in” by training stakeholders, and likely some of your new trainers will be nominating committee members.

When recruiting staff for a repetitive function or training remember it is important to continuously bring in new people so as to:

  • Avoid burning out the “regular” helpers.
  • Have additional trained people available to fill in if the “regulars” are unavailable.
  • Build up a base of available trainers to ease the burden of staffing an event.
  • Try to have a diverse staff that reflects age, ethnic, geographic area, and gender so as to offer the participants a comfortable enough feeling to address their issues and answer personal questions.

Step 3: Contact Your Prospects

Talk with your prospect about the position, including:

  • The job description
  • How their skills, talents, and personality fit with your staff or event needs
  • Any time requirements, dates, and any other important information they may need for the position

Ideally, you will identify the right person to ask the prospect—the person with the best connection to the prospect. If you can’t find a “right person,” do the best you can. It might work best to have two or three people making the contact, but remember to not overwhelm the candidate with a large group of people.

Make the contact face-to-face if possible and convenient for the prospect.

Role Play: Contacting the Prospect

Instructor Note: Divide participants into groups and role-play the first scenario of contacting the prospect. You will need a minimum of participants: the training chair, the prospect, and an acquaintance of the prospect.

When participants have had a few minutes to practice the role-play, lead the reflection time by asking:

  • How did you feel about asking for help?
  • How about when you were being asked to help?
  • Was this exercise helpful? If so, how?

Have the same participant groups role-play the second scenario, and repeat the reflection questions.

Hopefully, your contact with the prospect will be successful. If the prospect does agree to serve as a leader, the next step is to seal the deal.

Step 4: Ask for Commitment

Welcome the prospect to your training staff or event.

  • Thank him or her for volunteering.
  • Explain the schedule and calendar.
  • If the prospect is hesitant, be ready with further information and resources. Give the prospect a reasonable, short period of time to decide (two or three days).
  • If the prospect declines, thank him or her anyway. Consider asking the prospect to consider a different position (be sure to have a specific one in mind).

Step 5: Schedule Training

Schedule training as necessary.

  • Depending on the prospect’s individuals talents, experience, and training status, determine what training may be necessary and schedule as appropriate
  • The BSA wants each member of the training staff to succeed in his or her new role. If we fail to explain the expectations we have for the new training staff member we fail to communicate the tools to do what is expected, then the odds of the new training staff member succeeding and being comfortable in the new position are greatly reduced.


Recruiting new staff is a continuous process. We always need to be on the lookout for opportunities to expand our training staff, but we need to do so by recruiting the right person for the right position. We need to be aware that if we find the right person, he or she might not be available at that time. Always keep your prospect list ongoing.

By following the five steps to recruiting quality training staff, we can avoid recruiting people just to have them around with no specific purpose. If we do not give them a responsibility, then we risk that they will do nothing for us since we have never asked them to do anything. And ALWAYS take YES for an answer