International concern over refugee militarization has grown greatly in recent years. Despite the growing prominence attached to this issue by scholars and international organizations alike, few have examined refugee recruitment from the perspective of the recruiter. Drawing on the signalling theory, we argue that recruiters will only approach those refugees who show willingness to get involved in militancy. Empirically, we focus on four attributes that might show this willingness: the role of ethnicity, economic deprivation, camp insecurity and the social network of the refugee. We examine the importance of these factors with the help of new data collected via interviews with more than 280 Congolese refugees. Our analyses show that recruiters especially approach those refugees who feel economically deprived, have combat experience and already know people that were successfully mobilized. Contrary to our expectations, ethnicity plays only a limited role.