The key to a successful AmeriCorps program starts with finding people who have the skills & commitment to “get things done” and are ready to take action on issues facing Texas communities. Serving with with AmeriCorps is a valuable, life-changing experience, but lack of awareness or an unfocused strategy can make recruiting members a challenge.
This spring, OneStar hosted the AmeriCorps Recruitment Institute to equip national service programs operating in Texas with best practices at all stages of member recruitment, with a specific focus on developing a diverse talent pool and increasing local partnerships. Delivered via four virtual interactive workshops, the AmeriCorps Recruitment Institute built a solid foundation for recruitment planning and empowered participants to develop a customized framework tailored to their unique recruitment needs. While each program requires a distinct approach, here are a few key principles we learned for laying the groundwork for a strong recruitment strategy:
- Begin with the end in mind. Based on historical data, have a clear target of how many individuals you need at each stage of the prospect journey and deeply understand who your desired audience is.
- Time and resources are finite. Be strategic in what types of recruitment activities you participate in and ensure you define what success looks like when engaging in them.
- Don’t let your messaging get stale. Each interaction, whether in-person or through an email, should be aligned to the individual you are trying to attract. Practice your elevator pitch or get feedback on your written messages from the members in your programs to evaluate their effectiveness.
- Create an equitable screening process by being transparent with candidates about what they can expect and set them up for success at each stage. Ensure your interview is free of personal bias by using a set of competency-aligned questions with standard rubrics.
Texas communities are stronger because of dedicated individuals committing to a term of service. You can support building momentum for AmeriCorps in Texas, by promoting AmeriCorps opportunities and making connections within your network — check out sample social media posts and messaging in the AmeriCorps Values: What’s at your CORE? campaign toolkit! You can learn more about serving in AmeriCorps here, and find and apply for all current AmeriCorps position openings in Texas here.
Special thanks to to the Schultz Family Foundation for advancing national service as a pathway of opportunity and supporting the AmeriCorps Recruitment Institute through the National Service Challenge grant!