Recruitment – Where are the volunteers?

So, you have valuable jobs to be done in and around your club, but how do you find willing and able people? The hardest part of the process is finding suitable people, but sometimes they can be right on your doorstep. Conversely, casting your net as wide as possible through targeted publicity will reach people who otherwise might not have considered getting involved.

The RFU suggests a number of straightforward avenues which should help you find the right people to help your rugby club grow and prosper.

Look inside the club
Before looking externally, you should consider looking at individuals who already have a strong attachment to the club, some rugby knowledge and are likely to be keen.

Three types of people who fit these criteria could be players, spectators and parents. Remember; raise awareness about what opportunities there are. 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 the junior section or hold voluntary committee posts
•Spectators – at clubs below national league level spectators can watch without paying an entrance fee. Therefore they may be happy to assist with various match day duties
•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

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
•Sponsorship through local businesses

Young volunteers
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.

Volunteer workforce map
The volunteer workforce map is a helpful tool, designed to enable clubs to assess their current volunteering structure and the volunteers who are active in the various roles. It will also assist with identifying gaps in provision, opportunities for succession planning and recruitment, in conjunction with the role descriptions. New rugby volunteers can also refer to it to gain an overall perspective of the sort of opportunities that may be available at a local club.
•Download the map here (PDF 100kB)