Summary: Recruiting is a process. It always amazes me how much effort it takes and how much time is required to make it come together. Start early!

I want to give you one big piece of advice for recruiting. This one big piece of advice is super practical. Recruiting takes time. Start yesterday. Better yet, you should have started five weeks ago.

I know that this sounds ultra practical and should go without saying. Yet, this single reminder could greatly help you. When it comes to recruiting, wise leaders start five weeks ago. Recruiting is a process. It takes time for the back and forth and for people to ask spouses and more. You honestly can never start too early. No matter how many years I sat in the recruiting chair, it always amazes me how much effort it takes and how much time is required to make it come together.

Now, please understand that I have put it off recruiting for another day or possibly for next week. Rest assured, I have started recruiting far too late and I have paid the price. I have paid the “lazy tax” and I do not want you to make this same mistake. You might ask, “Why does recruiting take so long?”

Let me give you a silly and yet honest assessment of how it typically goes: Day 1 - You call. No answer. Day 2 - You call tomorrow. No answer. Day 4 - You then call again and they answer the phone. You share the vision. You call them to action. You now need to allow time for them to reflect, pray about this opportunity, talk with their spouse and more. You set a call back date that is reasonable. Day 11 - Call back one week later. No answer. Day 15 - You wanted to call back on day 12, but you got swamped. So you call back on day 15 and thankfully, they answer the phone. They need more time because they forgot to talk with their spouse. Day 18 - You call back. No answer. Day 20 - You call. This time you feel it is ok to leave a voicemail. Day 23 - You call back again. They answer. They tell you yes. You freak out and rejoice! You send them a follow up email and provide relevant details.

Notice that this process took over 3 weeks. It took 23 days, and this was a fast one! Recruiting takes time. There are no shortcuts. It requires human-to-human engagement. It is not cut and dried. It is a very protracted process. Therefore, if you start recruiting 1 week before you need everyone in their slot, you are doomed. You need to allow a significant lead time. The typical recruiting campaign takes around 4-6 weeks to run the full cycle.

Bottom line: Start Early; Start Yesterday! Be sure to check out as your one-stop-shop to help you recruit, train and retain volunteers.