Recruiting other Project Leaders
Our experience shows that the workload on Student-Led Projects is too great for just one person, so we recommend that you have at least 2 Project Leaders for your Student-Led Project. If you are just starting and need to find a co-leader, consider:
- Asking your friends
- Asking around your department
- Writing an advert for the Volunteering Service newsletter and website
- Designing a poster to put up around college
Once you’ve got potential new recruits, remember to:
- Be clear about what commitment you’re asking them to make
- Decide how regularly you are going to meet
- Make an appointment with your Project Supervisor
You may find people who are willing to take on specific tasks, without actually becoming a Project Leader. Don’t turn them away - these are your first volunteers!
The difference between a Project Leader and a volunteer is that the Project Leader takes on a management responsibility for ensuring that tasks get done. They might do some of the tasks themselves, or they might ask a volunteer to do them.
If you are not planning to continue with your Project Leader role, next academic year, but you still want your project to carry on, you will need to find new Project Leaders. It is useful to take this into account from the start, since the easiest and most efficient way to do this is to recruit from your current pool of volunteers! You can find more information about this in the Wrapping up and page.
Volunteer recruitment strategies
Some things you can do to make your volunteer recruitment easier and more effective are:
- Speak directly to other UCL students and get them to spread the message. Research has shown that word of mouth is the best method of volunteer recruitment.
- Include your project in the Volunteering Service Newsletter. Here is some guidance on Writing Volunteer Recruitment Adverts.
- Attend one of our Volunteer Fairs. See some guidance on how to recruit volunteers at the Volunteering Fairs.
- Complete your project’s homepage on the Student-Led Projects Online Platform – this will advertise your project in our online directory. The SLP Webpage User Guide has information on how to do this (look at the "Editing information about your project" section).
- Creating volunteering opportunities for your SLP Webpage (see the "Creating new volunteer opportunities" section in the SLP Webpage User Guide.
You can also consider these alternatives:
- Volunteering Society – might be able to promote your project to their members.
- Clubs and Societies – could your project be of interest to members of a particular club or society? If so, we can put you in touch with them.
- UCL departments – are you trying to recruit students from a particular course – for example, law or medicine? We can ask departmental administrators to send an email to their department’s students
- Write an article for Pi Magazine.
- Use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
Keep in mind that address details of your volunteering activities should not be shared on public advertising or social media pages. If for some reason you identify a need to publicly share the address details of where the volunteering will be taking place, this needs to be approved by the partner organisation in advance of the address being shared.
Whatever system you choose to decide who should or shouldn't volunteer with you, it should be transparent, treat everyone equally and fairly, and it should be appropriate for your project. In particular, you’ll need to decide:
- Can anyone volunteer with you, or are there qualities, skills or previous experiences that people must have?
- How will you select?
- How many volunteers will you need?
It is also important that you write a clear description of each volunteer role that your project has and, if you are selecting, what the criteria are. You should only pick volunteers based on your criteria.
Selection by interview
If you decide to interview prospective volunteers, you’ll need to draw up a list of questions and ensure that all applicants are asked the same ones. You’ll also need to book rooms (if in person) and decide who’ll be doing the interviewing.
Selection by application
If you decide to have a written application process, you’ll need to decide whether there will be a structured series of questions, or if you’ll ask applicants to provide a CV and a written statement.
If you’d like any advice, please ask your Project Supervisor.
After selecting volunteers
Once you have recruited your volunteers, you should register them in your SLP Webpage and make sure that they get the appropriate training and inductions. Please find below some useful resources:
- Guidance on how to register volunteers can be found in the "Adding volunteers to your project" section in the SLP Webpage User Guide.
- Guidance on how to obtain Disclosure and Barring Service checks for you and your volunteers.
- Guidance on how to carry out Training and Inductions to introduce your volunteers to your project and get them ready.
- Information on the Accident and Emergency Procedure (all volunteers should be familiar with this).
Also, you should think about which strategies you'll use in order to motivate and retain the volunteers that you have recruited! See the Volunteer Motivation and Retention page for guidance.