Recruitment ties together organizations as diverse as Greenpeace, Hillil, College Republicans and the PIRGS. Recruitment is the basic building block of any citizen or student organization, since we rely on people for power. And people don’t just materialize. They have to be recruited. This is particularly true in 21st century America, where the primary social control is cultural, as opposed to physical. Facing police dogs, people have found the courage to fight back spontaneously. Facing television, few do anything spontaneously.
• Achieve Goals. You need a certain number of people to accomplish your campaign goals. Recruitment provides the raw number of people needed to get the job done.
• Visibility. Recruitment campaigns create visibility for the organization and build numbers. Visibility and numbers translate into grassroots power.
• Education. Recruitments campaigns are intrinsically valuable as they get people thinking about the issues. Throughout the campaign, you will articulate your vision to large numbers of people on a regular basis.
• Develop Skills. Recruitment campaigns also sharpen your skills and arguments, and keep you in touch with what people are thinking about.
• Build Community. Recruitment campaigns by necessity bring in new people, get peoplel together, and increase the sense of team among those recruiting.
PRINCIPLES OF RECRUITMENT
• Reach out to a broad constituency. Don’t rely on those who are already predisposed to getting involved. Speak to a wide range of classes and organizations. Don’t assume that people won’t be interested because of the class they’re in or the group they belong to.
• Multiple methods of recruitment are important. To reach a broad constituency, you need to be recruiting through posters, tables, classrooms, leaflets, newspapers, etc. Don’t assume that everyone will see your table or be in one of the classes your group visits.
• Have a simple message. Establish a basic, simple message for recruitment and stick to it. The message should reflect your group, its issues, its goals, and the kind of people you want to recruit.
• Follow up with new recruits immediately. Remind people of their commitments. Once someone has taken the first step, create new opportunities for involvement and growth. Take the time to get to know new recruits. Focus Don people with the most potential for growth and take the time to find out where they are coming from and where they hope to go.
• Ask everyone to do something. Make sure that everyone contacted not only is asked to do something, but is followed up with and asked to do more. For example, once someone has worked at a table, that person should be asked to coordinate a table.
• Use other networks. Build your base of support, but don’t ignore other networks and institutions that have the potential to participate in our efforts (e.g., student governments, the Greek system).
• Have materials ready. Posters, leaflets, newsletters, contact or general interest cards are all important and useful recruitment tools. Make sure that they are available for both informational purposes and for people to do visibility blitzes.
• Always be recruiting. Recruitment is the top priority during the first weeks of the semester, but it is important throughout the semester. Integrate recruitment into everything you do.
DOWNLOAD RECRUITMENT GOALS MASTERSHEET (PDF)
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