Recruit Volunteers Like Apple Recruits Employees

It is well worth your time to invest 4.5 minutes watching this inspiring recruitment video from Apple. Despite what you think about the company and it’s products, you have to agree that Apple does an amazing job at creating raving fans. Not just in the people that buy the latest iPhone, but in their employees as well.

As ministry leaders, we have to wonder what would happen if we recruited volunteers like Apple recruits employees?

Lead With Vision – One of my favorite quotes in the video is, “The best part of working at Apple is the feeling that what you brought to the table has contributed to something greater than yourself and in that way you’re changing the world.”

We have to lead with vision when we recruit volunteers so they know that what they are doing, from parking cars to changing diapers, is contributing to changing the world. Every volunteer in the church needs to know that they are a part of something bigger than themselves. This is impossible to do without casting a compelling vision about why volunteers should serve in our ministries.

Look For Potential – “The reason you are hired at Apple is because you are at the top of your field or you have potential to be.”

When you recruit volunteers, are you looking for people with potential? They may not be the best small group leader…yet. But they have the potential to be. There are people sitting in our church services every week that are full of potential. Unfortunately, they never get asked to get in the game because leaders aren’t taking the time to invest in them. This requires time and effort to develop the relationship and pour into someone that’s not quite ready to lead.

Find The Right People – If the church recruited like Apple, we would  help volunteers find the team where they can contribute the most based on their gifts and talents.

Failing to recruit the right people gets church leaders in trouble in two ways:

First, we simply recruit people to fill a spot. Seriously, stop recruiting people to serve in your ministry just because they can fog up a mirror. Because they have a pulse doesn’t mean they should serve in your children’s ministry. Just because a volunteer is willing doesn’t necessarily mean they are able.

Second, we dismiss people because they didn’t fit in our area of ministry. Don’t tell other staff members that someone’s not a good volunteer because they were not the right fit for your area. Because someone isn’t able doesn’t necessarily mean they are not willing and able to serve in a different ministry.

They key to recruiting the right people is helping them match their gifts with their area of service.

Add Value To Your Team – Another great quote from the video is, “You will get more out of working here for 2 years then working someplace else for 5 years.” In other words, Apple adds value to their employees.

How are you adding value to your volunteers? There are 3 ways to add value to your volunteer teams:

  1. Provide Meaning. Make sure the vision you recruited them with is the vision you keep in front of them. Share stories of life change. Show how their service is making a difference.
  2. Equip and Train. Stop thinking the ministers are the only experts. Equip and train your volunteers to become experts in the area they serve. Give them the tools they need to be the best they can possibly be.
  3. Build Community. Provide opportunities for relationships to flourish, both with you as the leader and with other people on the team. Create an environment where people are surrounded by folks they love serving with. Don’t just give them a task to do but give them a place to belong.

If the church recruited like Apple there wouldn’t be a shortage of volunteers. If we can create a volunteer culture where people find meaning in the areas they serve…people would be lining up to be on our teams like they line up outside an Apple Store to get the latest iPhone.


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