Adult Recruitment: Having the Conversation

Berkshire Scouts provide an adult recruitment workshop. If you would like to book a workshop please ask your District Commissioner to contact: Volunteer Development Officer (VDO)

  1. Getting your Group ready
  2. Engaging parents
  3. Having the conversation
  4. Adult recruitment checklist

A great starting point for asking someone to volunteer is to understand why some people volunteer and why others don’t.

It means you can try and position your ask to promote tasks, a time commitment and benefit that is specific to them, that will attract them to have to go, eg:

  • to make new friends and have a sense of belonging;
  • to increase experience to help get a job;
  • build self-confidence;
  • to learn new skills or meet a new challenge;
  • to make a difference and give back to their community
    – or they may just want to have fun!

Equally, some people don’t volunteer because they fear that they don’t have the required skills or knowledge, they worry it may be costly or time consuming, or they just have never been directly asked.

Take a minute to look at our Volunteer Stories page. You’ll find short videos of volunteers talking about specific aspects of volunteering. These can be very useful to show to potential volunteers who perhaps have a particular concern and need reassurance.

Who should ask?

Ideally, the person who does the asking should be a friend or know the person well. They are more likely to say ‘yes’ to a friend rather than a stranger, and will feel more comfortable discussing the options. If this is not possible, then aim to build a friendly relationship before making the ask.  This means that you should understand a little more about their possible motivations, time commitments, reservations and which benefits of Scouting would be relevant to them.


Invite them to have a conversation when there aren’t too many distractions. Let them know why but don’t go into the details about the role/ tasks, etc.  At the meeting let them know what is involved with volunteering. Talk about tasks rather than roles (roles can often be off-putting until you know what is actually involved). Let them know why you chose to ask them to do it – their skills, background, experience etc! Talk through the benefits – what’s in it for them!

Don’t forget to promote the training scheme and support structure for volunteers. Scouts and employability is an extremely useful guide that helps translate adult volunteering experience into CV language and skills. This is a really good tool to show people how volunteering can directly benefit them and improve their prospects.
Get Ahead – Scouting and employability is an equivalent document for young people too.

If you are looking to recruit more students then take a look at this blog article from The Scout Association: Top Tips for Recruiting Students.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask them directly!

Remember to be flexible and willing to discuss and alter the role description/tasks to fit them, their time and what they want to do. You need to strike a balance between selling a really positive image of Scouting, and ‘over-selling’, and sounding desperate!

Remember you can find all kinds of resources at:
The Scout Association website.

How to get involved

Register interest in volunteering or join our youth programme