Posters in shops and the library might help. Look for anything local where you could advertise. We used to have a Community Volunteer Service in our area until the funding dried up. That was a good place to put advertising for free. there might be something similar in your area.
Glad to hear it
Best thing you can do - and it’s no quick fix - is a sqn culture shift to grow your own. Treat over 18s as staff members from the outset. Engage them and give then responsibility. Invest and empower them.
Fresh blood staff members can be great, but my experience is that they get hugely frustrated by the organisations culture above sqn level. It’s very alien and backwards compared to most businesses - and people find it overwhelming.
Parents are also a great resource - but often time limited. Once little Johnny stops attending, the parents willingness to put up with 2 nights a week seems to dry up very quickly!
However, ex cadets who come with a back of positive experiences are often more willing to “give something back” and deal with the BS. Plus the concepts are less alien.
So, when they leave, let them know the door is always open. Grow a sqn alumni which you can call on for future staff - but also general support if you need it. Invite them in for a tea or coffee one night. Have a catchup or engagement event to keep those relationships bubbling away.
Get then to come back and talk about their job (if relevant), run a parade night activity or even get them to tell the cadets what they got out of the organisation - reflections of IACE or ACLC, JL or QAIC from somebody that’s done it - plus how its helped them in life - can be really inspiring for cadets. Have a staff member accompany them (to overcome DBS!) and suddenly you’ve got a parade night sorted. Plus, they might enjoy it and come back more often!!!
Some will go off to uni. Some will go off for jobs. Some you probably wont want back as staff. But some you absolutely will.
But you can start this process now. Use Facebook to draw people in. You dont need to explicit advertise a “recruitment event”, but organise a sqn reunion and get ex-cadets in and reengaged. Dont be afraid to let them know you’re struggling with staff and see if they are able to commit anytime either to you or the civcom. Or just willing to support the sqn in other things.
If you can get a group of 5 or 6 together see how flexible wing are about hosting a Volunteer Induction at your sqn HQ. Get WExO along to do all the forms and ID checks on one night. Get then to do BASIC and their training together.
Don’t have any unfortunately, I’m the most senior cadet atm.
Will definitely try this!
How would you recommend reaching out to them?
Appreciate yours and everyone’s contributions so far btw. Thanks guys
Do you happen to have any posters or templates handy?
You’ll find a variety of posters here on the ACC Drive
That poster can be edited in GIMP (a free open-source photo editor)
I find universities are also a good place for recruitment of staff. A lot of university students want volunteering opportunities to bolster their CVs for certain careers, particularly nursing and medicine.
Reach out to localSquadrons, they will in all probability have the sameproblem, see if you can organise a joint recruiting drive.
Unis could be great but bear in mind they’re likely to be temporary in the main as they move on once they graduate.
That is true, but that’s why it’s always a good idea to establish future plans from that person. I make it clear that it isn’t a short term thing.
Honesty is the best policy and all that!
@Batfink is right that there is no quick fix.
See if the local council has a ‘community volunteer’ recruitment set up. Ours does and when I went to see them to explain about us, they said our process to become a volunteer seemed a bit OTT, as most people they get enquiries from want to volunteer immediately. Nevertheless I’ve had posters up etc and no come back in two years.
Cadets are an obvious source, but I have been finding it increasingly difficult to keep them much beyond Easter of what I suppose is year 12 as they go into FE that isn’t local. For the first time in 6 years I’ve got one senior cadet who is going to the local 6th Form, but his mates on the squadron don’t and as their attendance has got patchier, his attendance not been as good. The ones I have kept have come on as staff but as CIs as they didn’t want the pressure of what a unform would bring. They now have become less inclined to do the uniform thing.
I’ve had posters in working men’s clubs, libraries, pubs, banks with little success. Make your own posters with pictures of the cadets and squadron doing things that look interesting.
I think the difficult thing to sell (and as a cadet you’d have more difficulty) is the time it requires, once you’ve got through the application hoops.
Parents have been my best hunting ground, even if it is only a relatively temporary thing. I had one approach me just as the new BPSS thing came in and I was told to hold fire by Wing and then Christmas hit, so hopefully they are still up for it and we’ll get them onboard by Easter. They are good mates with a couple of other parents I’ve being attempting to schmooze, so I might have anoother couple all being well
That is a really good shout we’ve got a local university, I’ll be sure to get into contact with them
I had a go creating some posters today. Not necessarily aimed at staff but could be.
What do people think?
Apart from the severe lack of words they’re lovely. I like the format, but on the long thin picture try and get something that’s portrait orientated.
Well yes they are missing words, and I was a little limited on images since I was at work.
They look great, but let me see if I can track down the RAF branding guide. While it might seem inconsequential, you could come unstuck of someone takes exception to a couple of things. Such as:
Only part of corps badge shown
Only part of roundel shown (I think a quarter is acceptable, but think it’s all or quarter - no in between).
Next generation logo looks OK though.
That aside… Good skills. Looks clean and neat.
I actually suspect the RAFAC logo isn’t good either since it’s supposed to have a gap the size of the Air Cadets A all the way round.
But I wasn’t aware of those other two.
Then again SharePoint isn’t available, and I couldn’t find the air cadet brand guidelines last I looked.
Try “Policy - Air Cadets Media Style Guide”
That has logo requirements etc.