Preparation is the key to success; have a strategy and stick to it
Planning and preparation
In all union activity we emphasise the importance of planning and preparation. The more time you spend preparing, the better the outcome will be.
A well planned recruitment drive is an important way to publicise PCS. It shows PCS to be:
- An active organisation
- Formed by active members who balance their own work/life issues to build the union
Make use of every opportunity for publicity
- Meetings / events
Make sure materials:
- Have a consistent message
- Identify and focus on issues people feel strongly about
For your plan, follow these suggested steps
Set up a branch recruitment task group to oversee the strategy and identify those comfortable speaking to members. Not all reps have the same skills, so plan your teams carefully. Training is available to help develop these skills, so contact your Regional office – we could, for instance, run a ‘bite-sized’ lunchtime training session in your branch to develop face-to-face skills.
The recruitment team should:
- ‘Map’ - find out who and where non-members are (collate information from COMMIX (‘i-membership’), staff phone lists, intranet, directories and anecdotal information)
- Identify any patterns to membership within certain groups e.g. grades, gender, race, workplace, part timers to target recruitment and tackle under-representation
- Allocate tasks to individuals
- Plan the timing - avoid holidays or peak work times
- Use any anecdotal or empirical evidence they already have to identify issues to discuss with staff.
- Visit and walk round a workplace or section with a bulletin that reflects the latest news or union position on an issue relevant to members as identified in Step 1
- Alternatively carry out a short questionnaire or survey to gauge member feeling on the most urgent union issue/s
- Make sure you have up-to-date application forms and recruitment literature with you
- Make sure you have membership or staff lists with you (where your preparatory mapping doesn’t correspond with the reality on the ‘shop floor’ remember to adjust your map information and amend a members workplace details on commix where appropriate)follow up initial contacts with face to face meetings
- Advertise details of this, ahead of the walk-round in your bulletin
- Hold progress meetings on how things are going for your team/BEC - this means you can change your strategy if necessary
- Don’t make recruitment attempts a ‘one shot’ task - build relationships with potential members. As a campaign builds non-members will be impressed by the step-up in visibility and be more persuaded to join PCS. Build in to your strategy reminders to everyone in the recruitment team to keep an eye out for likely new reps and advocates
- Contact individuals who are undecided
- Follow up with a further face-to-face meeting
- Evaluate the success of the strategy
- Revisit new members to see how they can help build the union
- Publicise your success.