Eight ways to make Inspiring Governance work for your board

How can you get the best out of Inspiring Governance to find volunteers for your governing board? Based on feedback from our recruiters and our team of regional managers, here’s our advice on how to ensure you get the most out of the service and secure the volunteers you want.

1. Give your opportunity a strong title. It is the first thing volunteers see and needs to do the trick of capturing their interest and attention. Think ‘Data wizard? ABC school needs you!’ instead of ‘governor vacancy’.

2. Widen your search. Inspiring Governance is powered by mapping technology that connects schools and volunteers based on location. Keep the radius of your search wide (around 20 miles) and let volunteers that you contact decide if your location will work for them. Recruiters tell us that often volunteers are willing to travel further than they think, and you never know what will be convenient for someone.

3. Open your skills options. Volunteers may not list all their skills or recognise valuable experience in themselves. Reading the personal statement of volunteers can give you a better idea of what a person can offer. Many savvy recruiters choose not to select specific skills, enabling them to view all the volunteers available in their area.

4. Create a new opportunity for each vacancy. This will enable you to tailor a message for each requirement and to keep on top of which gaps you have filled. Potential volunteers want to draw parallels between what they can offer and the role. Seeing an opportunity that lists several skills may make volunteers feel that they cannot provide what you need.

5. Keep opportunities open for longer. If possible, make your end recruitment date at least three months into the future. When this runs out, your vacancy stops being visible to volunteers. It is not like a job application deadline where you must wait before interviewing people – you can contact and appoint volunteers at any point.

6. Don’t delay. Our experience is that volunteers actively search for a board that is a good fit for them and they will often be speaking to more than one school. So, if there is a candidate you really want, work quickly to secure them before they join another governing board.

7. Check your vacancy is visible. Ensure the ‘tick here to make public’ box is selected on your opportunity. This means volunteers can see your vacancy and express an interest – they see a map of local vacancies in the same way you see a map of volunteers.

8. Personalise your message. When contacting volunteers, take the time to write a personal message including what you think they can bring to your board and what interests you about their profile.

Remember to check back regularly as new volunteers are signing up daily. Contact the Inspiring Governance team for support if you need it – we want to help you recruit successfully.