Brief: To develop an adult volunteer recruitment programme for the Army Cadets. Nationally, the Army Cadets lose one third of their volunteers each year, so there’s a constant need to recruit and retain volunteers.
Approach: Researchers from the agency visited various local detachments to interview staff, officers and instructors. Interviews were conducted with current volunteers to gather insights in to what motivated them to join the Cadets. We examined the activities, social networks, and support mechanisms at a local level that were already successful at attracting and retaining high calibre volunteers. Next, key stakeholders at county, regional and national levels were consulted. Our research showed there were numerous local initiatives focusing on recruitment, with no central direction or dissemination of best practice.
We provided a strategy to guide county recruitment teams to create their own, personalised adult volunteer recruitment plan, designed to meet their local area’s specific needs. We delivered: a trial programme of activity focused on local community engagement to increase the pool of adult volunteers; robust evidence, through qualitative research to identify best practice in recruitment; and a suite of metrics that the Army Cadets is using to measure the impact of the programme. We offered ongoing support to detachments so they could benefit from our expertise; and developed an accessible set of marketing resources and tools, with elements that could be transferred between different campaign elements.