February 17, 2002 - Charleston Daily Mail: How to recruit volunteers

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By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, February 19, 2002 - 9:34 am: Edit Post

How to recruit volunteers

Read and comment on this excerpt from the Charleston Daily Mail by Peace Corps staffer Charlie Peters (shown in the photo above) with a few suggestions based on his experience as one of those who started a new agency, the Peace Corps, from scratch in 1961 at:

How to recruit volunteers*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

How to recruit volunteers

by Charlie Peters

Feb 17, 2002 - Sunday Gazette - Mail; Charleston, W.Va.

Norman Mineta has less than 11 months left to hire and train 28,000 screeners for the nation's airports. This is obviously a daunting task, and Mineta needs all the help he can get. So here are a few suggestions based on my experience as one of those who started a new agency, the Peace Corps, from scratch in 1961.

First, put major emphasis on active recruitment; we did not sit and wait for applications, we flooded the nation's campuses with recruiting teams. Our leader, Sargent Shriver, put great store in recruiting - everyone on the staff knew he had to do his part or face the boss's displeasure. After we had cast a wide net to persuade recruits to apply, we instituted a rigorous selection program that eliminated those who didn't have the right stuff. Then we provided adequate training before they went on the job. In the beginning, some of that training wasn't very good, but we had a system of feedback that made sure we fixed what was wrong.

Both the recruiting and selection procedures for the screeners should draw on studies of the people who have actually turned out to be the best of the current screeners. A former FAA security chief says, "The best screeners were elderly widows. They had great powers of concentration and weren't worried about having a date or going out for a beer."

One problem with the screening job is that it is cruelly monotonous, looking at a screen or searching bags all day, every day. To meet this problem, The Washington Post's Stephen Barr reports that transportation department officials are planning to have screeners "rotate jobs, such as pulling passengers out of line for 'wanding,' searching airplanes each morning, and walking through airports as 'rovers' checking for potential security problems." One model Barr suggests is the Coast Guard, which "trains its staff to work in a variety of jobs, such as search and rescue, law enforcement, engineering and navigation" and "is known for instilling pride and camaraderie in its personnel."

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This story has been posted in the following forums: Headlines; Recruitment; Editorials


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