The recruitments project focuses on how people elicit the help of others in the informal settings of everyday social life. This includes the many and varied ways in which we can explicitly request objects and services (‘Could you pass the salt?’, etc.), as well as the ways in which others may offer help when we have not asked for it explicitly (e.g., when someone is visibly having trouble reaching the salt, and another person passes it to them). “Recruitments” is a broad technical term covering a range of interactions like these. In this comparative project involving languages of diverse types and cultural settings, conversational corpora are used to study how recruitments are accomplished, with a combination of qualitative and (coding-based) quantitative analysis. This cross-linguistic and cross-cultural comparison of recruitment sequences allows us to study central issues in human sociality, including cooperation and joint action, from a cross-cultural perspective.