The foundation of effective programming and service delivery is having the right staff on board. Especially when it comes to youth programming, recruiting staff that are motivated and dedicated is critical to your program’s success. Having the right staff is also key to building organizational capacity in areas of management, finance, and human resources. Current staff may have connections to potential staff, or you might consider promoting volunteers to paid positions. Don't forget to utilize your current set of resources (staff, community, technology) to increase the quantity and quality of potential staff.

Child Trends suggests the following when recruiting staff:

  1. Hire Volunteers/Promote From Within: volunteers and current staff are already committed to the program and have an understanding of program goals; promoting volunteers to paid positions can incentivize continued commitment and further investment in program success
  2. Use Existing Recruitment Programs: AmeriCorps programs like Public Allies and Teach for America could be useful resources for recruiting new and dedicated staff members; this works best when search criteria are clear and current staff members are involved in the process
  3. Encourage Peer Recruitment: current staff members that show dedication to the program are often good resources for recruitment
  4. Conduct Community Outreach/Form Partnerships: partner with schools and other organizations in the community to build connection to the community while also tapping into the pool of potential staff members with existing qualifications (i.e., teachers, community organizers, etc.)
  5. Use Technology: while traditional media like newspapers can be good places to put out calls, don't underestimate the ability of Internet listings on sites such as or to reach potential staff