Recruiting Volunteers

Modified on Mon, 15 Jan 2024 at 02:49 PM

Disclaimer: This article is general information only, not legal advice. If you are unsure, always consult with a legal professional regarding your needs.

Recruiting the right volunteers for your volunteer program is important for the success of the program and for developing team cohesion. Factoring in volunteer motivations and passions, and recruiting volunteers from diverse backgrounds while using a wide variety of recruitment techniques will all help you to build a solid volunteer base.

Advertising the Position

Advertising your volunteer positions is an important process in the recruitment of volunteers. Without advertising you could be limiting your pool of potential volunteers and missing out on a wide variety of skills and knowledge that you may not be able to tap into through your immediate networks.

There are various ways you can advertise volunteer positions such as posters, social media channels and online platforms like Seek Volunteer and GoVolunteer. Word of mouth is one of the most popular ways to reach new volunteers. Keep the message simple, clear and informative and targeted to the cohort you are wanting to attract.

By embracing diversity and inclusion through inclusive volunteer practices, and promoting this, you are demonstrating that your organisation is a safe and welcoming space for all. It places you in a good position to recruit potential volunteers who otherwise may be reluctant to volunteer. 

Interview and Selection
The interview process will help to identify if the applicant will be the appropriate person for the role. A great volunteer can enhance a volunteer program and support staff in delivering a service. An unsuitable volunteer can be time-consuming for the volunteer manager/coordinator and can damage the program and potentially the reputation of the organisation.

Interviews can be formal or informal in nature. This will often be dictated by the level of responsibility the role will carry. Even if informal, the interview process indicates to a prospective volunteer that their role within the organisation is viewed seriously. 

Reference Checks

Having a set approach to reference checks means details can be verified. It complements other relevant screening checks and provides the opportunity to clarify any potential areas where information is needed to make an informed decision about a potential volunteer. 

Reference checks as part of a standard volunteer recruitment procedure ensures that all volunteers are treated equitably. This is regardless of how they entered a program or how well they are known. They are also a chance for you to find out ways you can support the volunteer in your organisation. 

Onboarding is the process of integrating a new staff member into an organisation. A robust onboarding program will consist of any pre-boarding activities, the induction and any additional essential and ongoing training required for the role.

Structured onboarding programs should be provided for all staff, including volunteers, to ensure they can become independent, productive and confident team members.

Without a clear and structured onboarding process your volunteers, like staff, may never integrate properly into the team and can feel unprepared and ineffective. 


Rethinking Volunteer Recruitment

eLearning - Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

Recruit and Retain Volunteers

Quick Guides

These downloadable resources have been developed under the National Volunteer Management Activity project.

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