Once your organisation has decided to develop a strong community, the first step is to start recruiting people. Defining or adjusting the recruitment process to maximise success can be challenging. To make it easier, ensure you have a clear, specific, and measurable goal to work towards. In the example I’ll be using today, let’s say the Environmental Advocacy Organisation (EAO) wants to increase the number of paid memberships.
Define the Process
To fix something, we first need to understand it. Begin by defining the steps in your recruitment process. A process step is one that requires an action and has a clear outcome: yes /no, sign up, click through, measuring time, etc. Remember “some” is not a number, and “soon” is not a time.
Here’s the current recruitment process for our example organisation EAO:
- Run Facebook ads that have an ask to click through to email sign up page
- Email sign up page, people who sign up get an automated email with details about organisation and membership
- Membership officer calls all people who signed up via email and have a conversation about membership options
- If they say yes to membership, sign up immediately over the phone! If they say no, document why they said no (ideally in a standardised data format like a multiple choice question or standardised responses).
Measure the Process
For each of these steps, there is a clearly measurable outcome. When defining the metrics you’re tracking, make sure that they are related to the goal you are trying to achieve. It’s easy to get distracted and track a lot of unnecessary information. Metrics should be clearly defined, and everyone should have a shared understanding of why and what data is being tracked.
We’ve seen an increase in measuring grassroots programs in political campaigning. Obama-style field campaigning has led to a highly disciplined voter contact machine that closely measures how many volunteers are active, what is their output, and how many conversations are happening with voters. This has enabled campaigns to be more strategic with limited resources, and more targeted in their efforts.
In our example organisation, EAO has decided on these metrics:
- Facebook ads – measuring number of click throughs
- Email sign up page – measuring number of email sign up
- Calls to email sign ups – measuring how many conversations, number of YES and NO to membership ask
Refine the Process
Measuring the process over time has three main advantages. One is that it helps you track progress. Ideally, the output should always be growing and working successfully toward your goal.
Second, it helps identify problems. If your output isn’t growing, or the data shows an outlier in the metrics for a period of time, you can see that problem quite quickly and obviously. It makes it much easier to chase what the cause of that irregular data is.
Thirdly, measuring output at all points in the process informs how to adjust the steps to increase/decrease the output towards your goal. If a certain action is converting people at higher rates, how can you build more of that action into your process? If a certain step is losing conversions at a much higher rate than expected, could training or improved materials increase the conversion?
Here are the current conversion numbers are for EAO during their recruitment process:
- Facebook ad – reached 5,000 people, 10 per cent click through
- Email sign up page – 500 arrive at page, 10 per cent complete email sign up
- Call people – 50 people signed up on page, 40 per cent answered phone, 5 per cent said yes to membership
- Result: 3 new paid memberships
In this example, there are a couple things we could do to increase these conversions. Is the email sign up landing page well designed to convert people to action? Is there an opportunity to re-train the membership officer to have more convincing conversations? Beginning to improve these points is much easier with data to inform what a solutions output should look like.
As you can see, defining, measuring, and refining processes can dramatically increase understanding about why or why not people are joining your organisation. It is something that should be undertaken regularly to continually adhere to maximise productivity towards goals and key objectives.
For further advice on how to build and engage the community for your organisation, please contact Campaign Capital.
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