Session 5. Recruitment & Managing Contributors (May '21)

We’re back at it again with another session on teams, @may21-cohort. On Thursday we’ll tackle recruiting efforts and what to do to manage contributors you have on board. Week 4 looked at getting your message out there, and also provided models of collaboration (administrative vs. advisory, etc.); Week 5 will zoom in to focus on the onboarding process and tackling specific challenges that arise. I’ll mention this during our synchronous session, but even solo OER projects should benefit from these tips.

Accessibility and content creation are coming soon!

Here are the Week 5 slides and handout:

  1. Handout: Recruitment & Managing Contributors 2

  2. Slides: Recruitment & Managing Contributors

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We had some excellent questions and discussion during Week 5. Here’s the chat transcript. Below you’ll find a session recap with links, and then a suggested checklist for the asynchronous portion of Week 5. Many of you are already in vacation mode. Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Session 5 was Part 2 to Session 4: Team Building. In this second part we looked at strategies for onboarding collaborators, project management, and troubleshooting common challenges.

When someone expresses interest in your project, make sure you get back to them quickly and clearly explain next steps. If someone is not the right fit for a particular role, see if there are other ways they can be involved, or at the very least, keep them in the loop. And in both cases, don’t forget to thank them for taking the time to respond. Take a look at our full list of strategies when responding to a potential contributor. If you’re not receiving as many responses as you’d like, don’t despair. Review and revise the cfp and job description, and look at whether there may be other channels to target or a better time to post the call.

Once you have recruited and onboarded the contributors you need, it’s good to keep them continuously engaged. In our experience, the most successful projects are the ones that keep the initial buzz around the project and team alive, so take a look at our suggestions to engage your team. Repeat this process with new team members as needed, and remember that adding someone new to the project is an exciting milestone. It demonstrates that your project is resonating with others, so much so that they are willing to volunteer their time and skills to help it succeed. Celebrate that!

Finally, the session emphasized the importance of documentation. Clear MOUs, role descriptions, style guides, etc., go a long way towards smoothing out future challenges. Frontloading your project with clear guidelines pays off later.


Week 5 Checklist

  • Prepare a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or similar agreement with your team
  • Write a job description for any roles you are looking to fill on your project
  • If you haven’t already, prepare a Call for Participation using the job description and project summary
  • Connect with your campus or institution’s library, teaching and learning office, student access office
  • Crowdsource a list of channels to share your call for participation
  • Introduce new collaborators to your existing team
  • Update your project homepage as your team grows or needs change
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