Recruiting volunteers

In this section

Ten thoughts on volunteer recruitment

  1. Know how your volunteers link to why your organisations exists
  2. Have a vision for your volunteers… together, what will they achieve (not just help paid staff)
  3. Be clear about the roles you’re recruiting for
  4. Break the roles down as small as possible so that you’re not looking for too much from 1 person
  5. Work with staff and trustees to create the right environment to recruit volunteers into
  6. Understand the type of volunteer you’re trying to attract and where that volunteer goes so as to focus your advertising appropriately
  7. Ask your existing volunteers to help you to recruit new volunteers
  8. Think about what has worked in the past to recruit volunteers and do more of it
  9. Be explicit & clear about the recruitment process with potential volunteers so they know what to expect each step of the way
  10. Keep in touch with your volunteers during the recruitment process – find ways to get them involved

Ten ways for ensuring a volunteering enquiry turns into a recruited volunteer…

Sometimes we can lose volunteers during the recruitment process, here are 10 ways for ensuring we don’t…

  1. Be clear in advertising the role – tell people about the organisation, the role, the benefits of the role, etc.
  2. Tell them about the recruitment process so they know what to expect (make sure you keep the process as short and as simple as possible)
  3. Contact any potential volunteers as soon as they enquire & have an informal chat about what they’re looking for, asking questions to understand whether your organisation and your role is right for them.  Bear in mind that some people might know exactly what they want in terms of a role and organisation but others may have just thought that volunteering would be good for them & your role or organisation is the first one that’s come to their attention.  If you find that a volunteer isn’t right for your organisation, you canm help them find an alternative signposting them back to Community CVS.
  4. Talk about ‘informal chat’ not interview
  5. Have a tick box ‘expression of interest’ form as opposed to a detailed application form – you can find out more about them when you meet them for an informal chat
  6. Keep in touch with the potential volunteer throughout the recruitment process, reminding them of the process, telling them the next step, making sure they’re happy and know things are progressing
  7. Don’t take a CRB unless need to, or perhaps look to see how someone could get involved (obviously without putting anyone at risk) whilst their CRB is being processed.
  8. If references are part of the recruitment process, be clear about the purpose of the reference; who will contact the referees (your organisation or the volunteer themselves); and the questions you want the referee to answer.  If you are going to ask the potential volunteers to get their own references, provide them with a form to give to their referees.
  9. Be clear about expectations… we expect you… you can expect us… (perhaps even formalising this in an agreement type document… just make sure it’s worded as expectations, not obligations – which are more suited to employees than volunteers)
  10. If they do drop out of the recruitment process, ask them what made them drop out & look to improve the process from their comments

Ten ways to improve your volunteer adverts

  1. Break down the role into the smallest possible role, e.g. if you want someone who can do administration and run events, is good with money, can drive and is happy to pick people up… have multiple roles…
    1. Administrator
    2. Events Organiser
    3. Secretary/ Finance Volunteer
    4. Driver

Breaking a general role down means you can be much more specific about what each role involves.
If you happen to then find someone who can do all the roles  – great!

  1. Be as flexible as you can regarding the time required and when it is given in order to fit into the other things people have going on in their lives
  2. Make the role title clear – what is the role?
  3. Tell people about the vision of the organisation and how the role fits into that
  4. Tell people about the volunteer vision and how the role fits into that
  5. Tell people not only what the role in involves in terms of activities but also the benefits a volunteer  is likely to get in that role
  6. In describing the role, use clear language which is appropriate to the level of the role, e.g. for roles where a only a low level of literacy is necessary, keep the language at that low level
  7. Read the role after you’ve written it from the perspective of different volunteers to make sure it’s not putting them off… see inclusion section
  8. Remember it’s an advert – you are trying to write something which attracts people who are interested in volunteering with your organisation, in the roles you have available
  9. Tell them enough to attract them, but don’t try and tell them everything!  You can tell them more once they’ve expressed an interest in the volunteering opportunity

Ten places to put your volunteer adverts

  1. Register your opportunity through Community CVS, we will promote through our brokerage, include on our monthly Volunteer eBulletin and promote on twitter use this contact form ( I need Volunteers form) or email hennessy@communitycvs.org.uk
  2. On posters to put up in your premises & other places
  3. On lancashirestudentvolunteering.com and www.do-it.org.uk
  4. On flyers to put through doors in your area
  5. On http://ivo.org/volunteer-opportunities(IVO connects people and organisations who want to change their world)
  6. On flyers to give to your existing volunteers & your service users to pass on to people they know
  7. In the media e.g. Radio Lancashire’s weekly Volunteering slot; in the Guardian – advertise for volunteers for free
  8. On letters / emails – ask people you know to volunteer
  9. On http://trusteenet.org.uk/jobs-search(if recruiting specifically for Trustees)
  10. On your social media sites… Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube (video a volunteer appeal!)

Could your Volunteering opportunities be broken down into Micro Volunteering opportunities?

Creating bespoke volunteering opportunities

Advertise for volunteers with specific skills…