Recruiter Training: getting the most out of your recruitment efforts

A key objective for many associations is to grow; to grow, you need to recruit. Basic training can equip recruiters with simple skills to encourage new players to join. It also allows potential players to get a glance at the sport and what the community is like.

Selecting and Training Recruiters

Being approachable, outgoing, charismatic and a team leader are all good qualities when choosing who to represent your association at recruitment events. Some people are naturally gifted with these talents and are likely to be keen to help, which is great. However, if you lack people with these qualities, don't worry; quieter team members can also be excellent at building the foundations of good relationships with potential recruits if given good training. There are many ways to build up your current team members and give them the tools to make the best impression on new and prospective players. It is especially important to invest in training women matching and non-binary recruiters. These recruiters will be able to recruit the most diverse player base and show potential players that your association values and celebrates all players.

To build the skills of your recruiters, you can start by letting them run single drills, showcasing skills or demonstrations at training, first under supervision, then once they are comfortable, they can act on their own. This can also be a part of your association's development pathways for leaders and future coaches from within. Proper language is essential and should be highly featured in your recruiter training efforts. Proper and appropriate language can help create a safe and inclusive environment for new players.

Gender Equity Considerations

If you are at a recruitment event (whether it is a clubs and societies fair at university or a sports day at a local park), you are likely to be dealing with a diverse mix of people with differing abilities. Historically, ultimate teams have successfully recruited men matching players; however, moving forward, we must widen the scope of the ultimate community to women matching and non-binary players. One way to encourage this change is to pay special focus to women matching and non-binary players. Make sure that these players feel welcomed and valued, and try and get some one-on-one interaction with them and their peers. Remember, people join for the sport but stay for the friendships, so don't be afraid to make a new friend! Ensure that everyone is well integrated into the game, feels comfortable within the group, and is engaged in the activity.

Running the Event

Avoid “ultimate lingo” in the explanations and use the technique, “say it - show it - do it”, when explaining a drill (this can also be helpful to ensure that people who are auditive, visual and kinaesthetic learners can all follow along with the demonstration).

Lastly, recruiters need to be able to adapt. It is impossible to correctly predict the number and skill level of people at your recruitment event or first training session (and even if you know for sure, there is always going to be a surprise), so being able to change the drill according to the number of people and the space available is very important to ensure everyone can partake in the event. Don’t forget to plan breaks for water and food etc.

Basic selling and communication techniques can also be part of the standard tool kit of the recruiters. For example:

  • A friendly greeting and introduction go a long way.

  • Smiling and appropriate eye contact will make you seem more approachable and friendly

    • Become their friend and ask them about their interests; this will help build a relationship which will make it more likely that they will join

  • Reassure new players that you will teach them everything they need to know

  • Emphasise the benefits of joining your team (social events, tournaments, health benefits etc.!)

    • you can tailor what benefits will be the key selling points for each recruitee; for example, if they are young and new to the sport, focus on the social and community side and take time to explain all the fun experiences you can have while playing.

    • You can also ask the candidates (young players) what they are looking for in a new sport and then tailor your approach to reflect these desires

Referenced Case Studies

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With the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.