The Peace Movement’s Recruiting Practices
The life of any organization is dependent on its ability to recruit new members and the same holds true for peace organizations. Recruiting is a continual process and all current group members should actively recruit potential members. This process of recruitment, then, cannot simply take place on specified days at specified times. It is a continual, informal process of introducing potential advocates to the organization’s central ideology.
Recruiting peace advocates is a sensitive process insofar as current members should have a sense of the prospective applicant’s intent and interest in the organization. In the next few sections I will differentiate between obstructionist and non-obstructionist peace movements. My emphasis and interest is in what I have labeled as non-obstructionist peace movements. Thus, the recruiting practices I will address pertain specifically to the recruitment of non-obstructionist peace advocates.
As mentioned in the last section of the analysis, recruitment is, in part, dependent on points of accessibility, that is, the virtual and geographic locations where potential advocates are introduced to current members and the movement’s central ideology. It is imperative that at each point of accessibility potential advocates are met by knowledgeable and willing recruiters capable of explaining and clarifying both the purpose and any misconception surrounding the organization.
Third party recruiting agencies, commonly known as “headhunters,” should not be used in recruiting new members. There are several problems with the use of third party agencies, but with respect to this anticipatory account of 21st century peace movements, third party agencies may compromise the integrity of the group’s central ideology. These agencies are motivated by money and will typically recruit anyone to meet their quotas.
The key to successful recruitment practices, at least for an organization identified as a peace movement, is the narrative used to attract and peak people’s interest. Human beings are social beings. We are inherently attracted to a story. We are able to process vast amounts of information if it is presented in a sequential and logical manner. For these reasons, recruiters should be the best storytellers within the organization.
Their stories should be authentic accounts, stories they have witnessed or experienced firsthand. For people interested in peace and desperate to contribute to the betterment of society, recruiters need, more than anything, to (1) deliver a simple message, (2) demonstrate how the potential advocate can help the organization, (3) determine the person’s motivations, and finally (4) invite the person into the organization.