First, it was determined what paid staff position is responsible for the program. This is the person to whom the chief volunteer reports.
Team and service are critical to any successful program. To treat the volunteers as a detached, outside, self-governing, on- call-only group is to invite problems that often lead to an early program dissolution for preventable reasons.
The paid staff leadership shares in the success or failure of its volunteer reserves. Don't hesitate to make it clear that the players are in your band and not a bunch of soloists playing someone else's score. There are some who do not like this music and you should expect that. But it is, after all, your dance party or none at all. Agency's failure to apply the same management principles and practices done for reserve law enforcement and volunteer firefighter personnel can lead to the failure of a communications reserve program.
By and large, once you have recruited your initial and core staff you will never have to advertise again. Word of mouth will attract the people you need and want. Virtually all such successful programs have found that working through a club or clubs is not the answer. It tends to bring along the unnecessary baggage and politics internal to the club. Be aware that not all club members are interested in your program, not all club members may be eligible, and for some it may create divided loyalty problems. We take an absolutely neutral position on any member's outside non-conflicting activities, including even whether or not they are a licensed Amateur Radio operator.
At our own site we opened the doors to volunteers in 1985 and accepted fifteen after screening eighteen applicants. We have never advertised since. Word of mouth is the best recruiter. If you are doing things that appeal to the type of people you want doing them, they will come. They naturally tend to be the type that will be a credit to our organization. They tend to be producers because they see what the others are doing with and for you. They tend to require little training. Most of the training needed has nothing to do with communications but concentrates on your organization and procedures. You may be pleasantly surprised at the duties and the unexpected talents they bring with them, as well as the duties for which they will volunteer.
If your mission is clearly defined and you express your goals and personal expectations, you will not be swamped with applicants. You will get quality -- not quantity. Don't be reluctant to state that up front. This tends to discourage the joiners, ID card collectors, the "wannabes" and the like. Regrettably, it is the latter that gives volunteers a bad name. Properly stated and administered, as their manager you can avoid or minimize that problem.