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Breaking Down Three Common Recruiting Myths

Posted on October 12, 2015 at 12:00 AM by Darin Ninness

This item is written by Captain Tim Ledford, the Southeast Region Director of Recruiting & Retention, and is presented here with his generous permission. - Lt Col Ninness  

Myth 1: “We can’t assign a recruiting officer because we don’t have enough members and need to fill other positions first”

Fact: This is probably the most destructive, dangerous, and self defeating myth of all; a little like using gasoline to “extinguish” a raging fire. Over time, the presence of a recruiting officer that is actually focused on recruiting will not only mean you may have enough members to fill every position, you will have the luxury of selecting the best person to fill the position.

Myth 2: “Our squadron doesn’t need a recruiting officer because in our squadron WE ARE ALL RECRUITERS”

Fact: Yes we all are recruiters to an extent in that we all have the ability to talk to someone about CAP and invite them to visit the squadron. However that is usually as far as it goes. Without a squadron recruiting officer, a person whose focus is recruiting and retention, no one is planning recruiting activities at festivals, parades, or air shows. No one is going out to schools and civic organizations to talk about the CAP. No one is planning an open house. No one is putting public service announcements in local newspapers about the squadron.

Without a recruiting officer in a squadron there usually is no defined recruiting plan, or worse, the recruiting plan is to simply sit in the corner grinning and watching the door, wondering if someone new will ever wander in.

Myth 3: “All that we have to do to recruit is wear our uniforms and wear them proudly”

This does seem to be the recruiting policy in some areas. Of course if you are standing in the middle of “Center City” in your uniform, the people in North Town, West Town, South Town and East Town can’t see you. This may sound funny at first, however at countless recruiting events, especially home school conventions, people from small towns that have a CAP squadron have been very interested in the CAP and said they never had any idea there was a CAP squadron in their town.

This is a very common theme, people that are interested in CAP, have no idea there is a CAP squadron in their town because they didn’t see the member wearing his or her uniform proudly. We need to have a recruiting plan and get out and recruit!

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