I got to sit in on a great debrief / recap of the recent Webmaker go-to-market strategy. A key takwaway: we’re having promising early success recruiting local volunteers to help tell the story, evangelize for the product, and (crucially) feed local knowledge into making the product better. In short:
Volunteer contribution is working. But now we need to document, systematize and scale up our on-ramps.
Documenting and systematizing
It’s been a known issue that we need to update and improve our on-ramps for contributors across MoFo. They’re fragmented, out of date, and don’t do enough to spell out the value for contributors. Or celebrate their stories and successes.
We should prioritize this work in Q3. Our leadership development work, local user research, social marketing for Webmaker, Mozilla Club Captains and Regional Co-ordinators recruitment, the work the Participation Lab is doing — all of that is coming together at an opportune moment.
Get the value proposition right
A key learning is: we need to spell out the concrete value proposition for contributors. Particularly in terms of training and gaining relevant work experience.
Don’t assume we know in advance what contributors actually want. They will tell us.
We sometimes assume contributors want something like certification or a badge — but what if what they *really* want is a personalized letter of recommendation, on Mozilla letterhead, from an individual mentor at Mozilla that can vouch for them and help them get a job, or get into a school program? Let’s listen.
An on-boarding and recruiting checklist
Here’s some key steps in the process the group walked through. We can document / systematize / remix these as we go forward.
- Value proposition. Start here first. What’s in it for contributors? (e.g., training, a letter of recommendation, relevant work experience?) Don’t skip this! It’s the foundation for doing this in a real way.
- Role description. Get good at describing those skills and opportunities, in language people can imagine adding to their CV, personal bio or story, etc.
- Open call. Putting the word out. Having the call show up in the right channels, places and networks where people will see and hear about it.
- Application / matching. How do people express interest? How do we sort and match them?
- On-boarding and training. These processes exist, but aren’t well-documented. We need a playbook for how newcomers get on-boarded and integrated.
- Assigning to a specific team and individual mentor. So that they don’t feel disconnected or lost. This could be an expectation for all MoFo: each staff member will mentor at least one apprentice each quarter.
- Goal-setting / tasking. Tickets or some other way to surface and co-ordinate the work they’re doing.
- A letter of recommendation. Once the work is done. Written by their mentor. In a language that an employer / admission officer / local community members understand and value.
- Certification. Could eventually also offer something more formal. Badging, a certificate, something you could share on your linked in profile, etc.
- Co-ordinate across teams. Other teams are doing similar things — need to synch up.
- Tie this to a Mozilla Learning working group. Ben can help here.
- Make it a priority in July. Add yourself to this ticket if you’re interested.