Recruitment Pack for Former Volunteers Global Xchange Recruitment Pack Hello, and thank you, for your enthusiasm and willingness to help us recruit more volunteers for Global Xchange programmes. As a recently returned volunteer you know more than anyone what a great experience the GX programme can be. So you should be surprised to learn that we’re actually struggling to get enough applicants to fill our exchange teams this year. Ridiculous, isn’t it? With your help we can fill up our teams easily and give more people an opportunity to participate in a life-changing six month exchange. This Recruitment Pack is designed to help you do some small or large things that will help us in our recruitment push. The pack contains: 1. A list of things you can do to help us 2. Practical advice and support 3. Publicity materials 4. Contacts to help you in your local region We hope that this pack will give you ideas and support in helping us out, without being too obvious or patronising. It’s always better to provide too much information rather than too little, so if it’s obvious, just skip that section and read on Many thanks again for helping us out, and do call if you have any questions! The Global Xchange Team Materials included in this pack Hopefully you will find everything you need in this pack to get started. Enclosed are the following materials: • GX Leaflets • GX Postcards • GX Posters • Headed paper • A Regional Recruitment Contacts booklet • A CD with the following electronic resources: - A Powerpoint Presentation - Photographs from different exchanges - Templates for press releases, emails and letters - Your Regional Recruitment Contacts booklet in electronic form If you need more of any of these, do give us a ring Where Do I Start? Helping Global Xchange with recruitment can be as easy as taking some leaflets down to your local library. We are trying really hard to get the word out to as many places as possible, so anything you do will be helpful. To get you thinking, here is a list of possible ways you can help us recruit more volunteers - from the quick and easy, to the more detailed and engaged. Remember that we are here to support you if you choose to do any of these things… 1. Talking to your family and friends about your experience. Encouraging people you know aged 18 – 25 to apply for an exchange 2. Taking a bunch of GX leaflets and postcards, and leaving them in local schools, libraries, volunteer bureaus, youth clubs etc.. 3. Putting up a GX poster on a local notice board or in a public building 4. Speaking informally to teachers, lecturers or youth workers you know, and encouraging them to spread the word 5. Doing a presentation to a local group you are involved in (a university society, church or mosque, girl guides group, etc..) 6. Manning a stall and answering questions at a recruitment fair or volunteering fair in your area 7. Circulating letters and emails to local groups and organisations to get the word out electronically 8. Making an appointment to see local teachers, careers officers, volunteer bureau officers that you don’t know, and telling them all about GX so they can pass on the information to young people 9. Sending out a press release to your local newspaper telling them about your experience and saying how other people in your area can easily do it too 10. Coming to talk at a ‘Meet VSO’ event that is held in your area, and trying to get as many young people to that event as possible What support do I get? We want you to do as many of the above things as you can, so this pack is designed to support you in as many ways as possible. The resources and contacts you need are all detailed below, including templates, ideas, materials and more. If you’re worrying about money, rest assured that we will reimburse any out of pocket expenses you may have: • Travel: If you are travelling within the local area to do a presentation or meet with someone, we will reimburse all of your travel costs. If you end up going a bit further a field and travel costs will be more than £20, do call us at the office and clear it before buying your ticket. • Lunch: If you are working a full day (attending a recruitment fair, for example), we will reimburse your lunch costs up to £5 per day • Administration: We can provide you with GX headed paper and envelopes to write letters and press releases. Any other costs you incur in postage or admin, we will reimburse Please don’t forget to keep all receipts otherwise we cannot reimburse your expenses! We will now go into a bit of detail about how to go about doing some of the recruitment activities listed above. Remember that if you want to speak to someone in the office to let us know what you’re doing, to get some more support, or to answer any questions, you can contact us: Phil Hanks firstname.lastname@example.org 0208 780 7670 Matt Reynolds email@example.com 0208 780 7565 Tom Smith firstname.lastname@example.org 0208 780 7568 PLACES: Where to leave leaflets, post posters, present presentations The simplest and easiest thing you can do for us is to take a bunch of leaflets or postcards out with you wherever you go and leave them in key places. This strategy is more effective if you meet with someone and explain what the GX programme is all about before you leave the leaflets. It is more effective still if you also do a talk or presentation to enthuse and explain the programme in greater depth. So, for example, rather than just taking a bunch of leaflets and dumping them in a local youth centre before scuttling off, you could have even more impact if you… (a) …meet with a youth worker or team leader in the youth centre and tell them enthusiastically all about Global Xchange, handing them the leaflets in person. If they understand the programme and think it sounds fantastic, the youth workers will draw it to the attention of the people at the youth centre, with a much greater impact (b) … offer to do a presentation all about Global Xchange and tell the people at the youth centre about your experience. If you show them photos and they hear all about GX from the horses mouth, people are far more likely to apply Of course, it needn’t be a youth centre you go to. Here is a list of some other places you can target to get the word out. (By the way, this is just a general list of places to target. You can find some specific addresses, numbers and contacts in your Regional Recruitment Contacts booklet, enclosed) Libraries Connexions Offices Volunteer Bureaus Schools Colleges Universities Churches Mosques Synagogues Temples Youth Clubs Music Groups Leisure Centres Youth Information Careers Services in Youth Services Shops FE Colleges Girl Guides Scouts Community Centres Cultural Centres Arts Centres Princes Trust Offices Millennium University Volunteers (MV) Societies Orchestras Student Unions Sports Clubs 6th Forms Bookshops Charity Shops Local Newspapers Recruitment Fairs Breadth or Depth? We imagine you’ve only got limited time to spend helping us out with recruitment, and we really do appreciate every minute of it - thanks so much once again. But since you’re bound to be quite busy, we want you to make the most of the time you have. In other words, we need you to be a bit strategic. Below are two possible strategies you can try. The first involves aiming for breadth – getting the word out to as many people as possible in your area. The second involves aiming for depth – targeting less people, but really spending some time with them and convincing them to apply. Breadth Breadth involves spreading the word about Global Xchange as widely as possible. You can reach far more potential recruits if you persuade others to pass the message on. If everyone you talk to about Global Xchange tells two other people, we will soon be inundated with applications from all over the country. If you do a presentation in a small club or society, ask the people there to tell their friends and family (and take lots of leaflets to give out to everyone). That way, each thing you do could snowball into something bigger. Another technique is to contact the right people who can spread the word effectively and quickly. For example, a Careers Advisor from Connexions or Careers Scotland normally covers five to ten different secondary schools, giving careers advice to loads of different 6th formers. If you convince one Careers Advisor that Global Xchange is a fantastic worthwhile exciting project, then this advisor can tell people from all those ten schools. This will be much quicker and more effective than you visiting those ten schools yourself. The thing is, you need to really convince that careers advisor how great Global Xchange is. You need to get them enthused and stocked up with loads of leaflets. If you don’t, they may forget to pass the word on about Global Xchange or they may not recommend it convincingly to the students. It’s not that hard to get people on-side though - you don’t need any special knowledge. Just smile and tell them what a great experience GX was for you; tell them a bit about how it all works. More tips for what to cover in these conversations can be found below. If you’re really ambitious you can go even higher. For example, each careers office will have a team leader who manages all five or six Careers Advisors. If you get the Team Leader enthused, then s/he will then encourage all the careers advisors to talk to students about Global Xchange. The problem is that the higher up the chain you go, the less likely it is that the information is going to accurately get down to the right people. So you may be better off contacting careers advisors and team leaders if you want to do this. You can use this technique with more than just careers offices. Local Volunteer Bureaus, Princes Trust offices and Millennium Volunteer centres also have workers who advise people where they can volunteer. You can find addresses and phone numbers of these places in your Regional Recruitment Contacts booklet. These places normally hold a portfolio of volunteer options. We need to make sure that Global Xchange is in these folders, and that the people in these centres know some details about our programme… Depth Despite everything above, there’s really nothing better than people hearing about Global Xchange directly from you. Targeting other people who can spread the word (like youth workers and careers officers) may get more people aware of Global Xchange, but fewer of these people are likely to go ahead and apply to the programme. Aiming for depth is an alternative strategy that can be just as effective. If you speak to half as many people, but speak to them properly - getting them really interested and really keen in Global Xchange - a higher proportion of them will apply. In fact, many people who do apply to the programme heard about GX through speaking to or knowing a former volunteer. Spending more time with a group of people and answering all their questions simply cannot be compared to a careers officer pushing a leaflet across a table. Aiming for depth generates greater commitment amongst applicants, lessening the drop-out rate and saving us money. A strategy of depth also means that you can target certain constituencies of young people and get them really interested in our programme. At Global Xchange we are always trying to make our programme accessible to everyone, regardless of their background, race, gender, ability, religion, sexual preference or personal resource. Despite this, we tend to get very similar type of people applying to the programme – majority white, reasonably well off, and with a very good educational background. We also get mostly females applying to the programme, and so men are always needed! As you know, applicants need no money to participate in Global Xchange. We also have a fund to enable people with disabilities to participate in the programme. Please bear all of this in mind when thinking of where to drop off leaflets or do talks, and help us try to get really interesting, diverse teams of UK volunteers. Talking about Global Xchange As we’ve suggested above, there is nothing like talking about Global Xchange as a way of getting the volunteers flooding in. Whether you’re talking to careers officers and youth workers or to school groups, this section is designed to give you a few tips and ideas of how to manage it. Nerves Some people get rather nervous by the thought of speaking in public, whereas other people are mouthy, and are born to do it. If you are a bit nervous, there are a few things you can remember that can make the experience a lot easier: - No one is better qualified to speak about Global Xchange! You’ve been through the programme and know all about it. This means you have the best qualifications possible to do a talk. - Concentrate on speaking about your personal experiences. You are not expected to know everything about the programme, you need only to tell the story of what you did and all the great things about the exchange - If you don’t know where to start we have given you a powerpoint presentation, which you can read through before answering questions. Alternatively you could show some of your own photographs and do an informal chat. Talking about Global Xchange requires no preparation by you. Remember, doing presentations gives you a real skill that can be used when applying for jobs. Think of this as an opportunity to get used to public speaking for the future. Also, if you’re still dying to chat about what you did overseas but your friends are now yawning into their drinks, use this as your chance! Making a phone call The first step in getting the word out often starts with a phone call. You may be calling the careers office or volunteer bureau to arrange a meeting where you can tell staff there all about GX. You may be calling a newspaper to get an article in it (more about this below). Or you may be offering to talk to a youth group. Either way, here are some simple guidelines for making that call. Sorry if this is obvious. If so you can ignore it and read the next section… 1. Introduce yourself. Say that you’re calling for VSO, as a former volunteer trying to get some information out about our youth programmes. 2. Ask to speak to the right person (if you have a name or an idea) 3. Once you’re speaking to the right person, ask if they have already heard about Global Xchange 4. Give them a short sentence or two on the basics of the programme, depending on what they know already (‘It’s a six-month exchange programme for adults aged 18 to 25.’) (‘Volunteers work on local projects for three months here in the UK and three months overseas, living in host families’) 5. Tell them why you’re calling (‘We really need volunteers for our exchanges. I’m trying to do some awareness raising. It’s totally free to participate. Its brilliant fun’) 6. Ask them your request (‘I was wondering if you could help us by…publishing an article / distributing leaflets / allowing me to come and give a presentation / meeting me and learning more about the Exchange) What to cover in a presentation Normally a phone call is just an introduction, leading up to a talk or presentation on your experiences of Global Xchange. Remember, you are better placed than anyone to enthuse about the programme, and it’s your enthusiasm and passion that will sell the GX to others. It’s really up to you what you cover in the presentation, and we’ve included some materials to give you an idea. The key thing to remember is to draw attention to some of the key selling points of Global Xchange: - It’s a bargain! Compared to other development charities or Gap Year organisations that work with young people, GX is a steal. Most gap year projects cost upwards of £3,000, but GX is effectively free for participants. Emphasise in you talk that we don’t ask people to pay anything for Global Xchange. Instead we support the whole team to raise money that will cover some of the costs - You meet long lasting friends. It is an experience that leaves lasting bonds among people in the team. As you know, spending six months with the same people in some challenging and exciting places means you’ll really get to know people, and will make some wonderful friendships - It gives you excellent skills and work experience. Participating in GX enables you to get some brilliant work experience and you can develop skills in areas that you want to build on. It looks fantastic on a CV. - You learn an enormous amount. You gain an insight in a really different culture and society, especially by living with hosts. Every week the team runs Educational Activity Days that let you share your opinions and learn more about key themes and issues related to the exchange. - It’s a great laugh. Of course, more than just the work, you will have a social life with the team and get an opportunity to see another country, take trips, and spend your free time getting to know new people. An Example Presentation Below is an example structure for a talk about Global Xchange. A more detailed example, with all the trimmings, is found in the powerpoint presentation (which is on the enclosed CD). But here are the basics of a good presentation which you can work around: 1. Introduction: Introduce yourself and say which project you volunteered on, where you went, and when you did it. You may want to add some information about yourself and what you are doing now. 2. What is Global Xchange? Give them a general introduction to Global Xchange. Explain that it has been running since 1999, and that we have now had over 50 exchanges with around fifteen separate countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, the Phillipines, and Uzbekistan. Explain that it is run by a partnership that includes the British Council, CSV, and VSO. 3. How does it work? You can now explain the structure of the programme, including the different components: a. Work Placements, b. Host Homes, c. Counterpart Pairs, d. Educational Activity Days e. Community Action Days f. Host Communities. Spend a bit of time explaining what each one of these different components means and how it works. Remember, the best explanation is to give examples of what you did and what your experience is. 4. How do you apply? Finally you can tell them how to apply and what the process is. Again, you can explain the process through your experience. Reassure them that the assessment day is not that scary, and that you will participate on an ITC (Introductory Training Course) a couple of months before the start of the programme. We can give you some application forms to hand out at the presentation if you want, as well as phone numbers if people want to speak to us at the office. Recruitment Fairs and Local Events Another great way to get the word out about Global Xchange is to set up a stall at a local event, fete, recruitment fair or voluntary fair. These happen quite regularly in local areas, so keep an eye out for advertisements on your college or university notice boards, in local papers, public building and youth centres. All you have to do is telephone the organisers and book a table or stall. You may have to pay a small deposit or fee for the stall, especially at recruitment fairs or larger events, and if you need any money up front then please call us at the office and we can arrange something for you. Then all you need to do is turn up with a stack of leaflets and a poster, sit at the stall and answer questions about Global Xchange. Make sure you do lots of enthusing about the programme and call us for application forms, extra leaflets, and the big Global Xchange banner. Simple. Meet VSO Events Occasionally a ‘Meet VSO’ event will come along to your area. This is an introduction to VSO for all types of people, where a presentation is delivered and questions are asked. On the whole this is an event for older, mainstream volunteers who go abroad for two years, but there are normally one or two younger people in the audience. If a ‘Meet VSO’ event comes to your area it would be great for you to go along. It is very easy for you. All you need to do is turn up, say a few words, and then answer questions during the mingling afterwards. If you do want to attend one, do call us first, and then we can let the organisers know that you are coming along to represent Global Xchange. Look at the website on www.vso.org.uk/meetvso to see if there are any coming up in your area, and then call us in the office if you want to attend. Contacting the Media and Writing Press Releases Contacting the media for publicity is really important and can be great at reaching lots of people relatively easily. If you are running a public event, a fundraiser, a presentation or a talk then it is really worth contacting the media to advertise it and get some more people along. In fact, even if you are not running an event, you could contact the media just about the programme in general, giving the story a local twist by describing your experiences and reflections since you came home. The key to contacting the media is to write a press release. This is relatively easy, and some examples are included on your CD. You can use the templates we have prepared for you, changing the dates and inserting the right locations, or you can write a new one. The key to writing a good press release is to make sure that it has a local focus. If there has been a Global Xchange project in your area then this is easy, you can start the press release referring to the former GX programme (for example: “In Glasgow last winter, nine Nigerian volunteers paired up with nine British volunteers to work on local community projects. Now it is the chance for young people from Glasgow to return the favour and travel abroad themselves!”). Another good way of making a local focus is to refer to yourself – you are a local person after all! You can begin your press release “In winter last year David Jones from Bangor took six months to volunteer abroad in Nigeria. He has now returned and is continuing his work in the social sector by working in the local education department. He is appealing to other young people from North Wales to volunteer as well…” Once you have written your press release you can then send or fax this into your local paper, radio station or TV station. Once this is done it is really worth following it up with a phone call, a bit of encouragement, and an invitation to your event. Remember, writing press releases, like doing a presentation, is really good experience and will give you some more useful CV points. Local Email lists: what you can do Very simply, you can send an email out to local email lists and people you know. Get them to pass the word on and use as many email addresses as you can. For maximum impact target organisational email lists in the voluntary sector, charity sector, and in local authorities. Good places to target are local councils and local charities. A couple of template emails are included on your CD, which you can adjust and use as necessary. We hope this will take some work off you. To target larger email lists like councils, contact a central administrator like the Mayor’s personal assistant. Explain that VSO are looking for young volunteers in their local area, and ask extremely nicely if they will send it out to all employees. A phone call and some sweet talking can go a long way! We have also included a more informal email that you can send out to all your personal friends, if you don’t mind… Local Support: Other Global Xchangers Remember, you’re not the only person in your area to have gone through the fantastic Global Xchange experience! There are other former Global Xchange volunteers in your area who you can get in touch with. They may not have been in your team, but that doesn’t make them the enemy. Perhaps you want to do a presentation with someone else, or share ideas and photos, go out leafleting together, or just go for a pint to reminisce about your experiences whilst surreptitiously leaving some of our postcards on the table…. We encourage you to meet up with other RVs in your area and support each other – that way doing recruitment can be more enjoyable. Please consult your Regional Recruitment Contacts booklet for details of people in your area. Be a VSO Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator! Earn some extra points on your CV and volunteer with us to coordinate the recruitment effort for Global Xchange in your local area! We would like to work through nominated local coordinators who will organise recruitment events in their local area, taking the lead in setting up events and keeping in touch with returned volunteers in their locality. You will take on a bit more responsibility in liaising with the office and keeping local people informed and involved. In return we can offer you your expenses covered and a reference from VSO. Being a local Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator can be a great way to get organisational experience and enhance your CV VSO Groups VSO has Local Groups across the UK who provide support to VSO in recruitment and publicity. They are made up of former volunteers, both mainstream and Global Xchange, and can be a great way to meet like-minded people in your local area to work together on recruitment. Each Local Group has a strong social element as well as the work they do. Please consult your Regional Recruitment Contacts booklet for details of VSO Local Groups in your area.