Recruitment & Retention

As a club you are probably looking for ways to attract and retain people to give their time to help your club. Here are a few ideas to help you on your way.

The role of welcoming, helping and looking after new volunteers is a very important part of any club.

Finding new volunteers

When recruiting remember to clearly outline the opportunities at your club and provide clear role definitions - the swiMark process can help for the major positions. This shows volunteers the role they will play and helps them visualise themselves carrying it out.

Remember to use effective recruitment methods. We suggest advertising volunteering opportunities to people interested in aquatics within your community on the club website (local notice boards), our website, in sportscotland vacancies and your local volunteer centre. This Volunteers Wanted template may help.

Making people feel welcome

The impact of a poor induction should not be underestimated. Most volunteers leave an organisation in the first six months and it is the first 60 days that they make the key decision to leave. Induction programmes need to comprehensive and reflect volunteers’ value.

So, ensure you provide them with key information, set standards to show what is expected (Code of Conduct), offer support, and empower volunteers to take responsibility. Also arrange for someone to act as a mentor or buddy until they feel confident in their role.

We all want to feel valued

Finally, one of the most effective tools you have to retain volunteers is one of the simplest, saying ‘thank you’. Most say they do not expect it, but they will always appreciate it. Whether face-to-face, in a phone call or in a card after an event, a thank you means a lot.

Our volunteer policy can help volunteers understand what they can expect when they volunteer within the Scottish Swimming community and are aware what they are committing themselves to.  Perhaps this is something to think about for your club.

Ensuring volunteers feel their opinion counts is just as important. Here are a few questions you can ask them to ensure they feel their views are being taken into account.

  • Are you enjoying yourself in the role?
  • What are the good points/ not so good points?
  • Is the role what you expected it to be? If not, why not?
  • Would you like to take on anything else?
  • Is there any training you would like to get involved in?
  • What else, if anything, would help you in your role?

For more advice on the recruitment and retention of volunteers and other aspects of being a workforce co-ordinator, contact your Regional Swimming Development Manager.