Volunteering is rewarding and socially beneficial. It’s rewarding for people who want to use their professional skills and knowledge to benefit others, to give back to an organisation that has positively impacted on their life, either directly or indirectly or make a difference to the lives of others less fortunate. Socially, it can also be a great way to meet new people, make new friends and get to know your local community.
However the wider sociological and economic impact of volunteering can’t be ignored. With the highest youth unemployment in decades – volunteering is also a great way of gaining new skills, knowledge and experience, enhancing a CV and improving one’s employment prospects.
As an ageing UK population volunteering also offers opportunities for older people who are now working longer, who have valuable skills and experience.
It is also for many organisations an important route to other types of engagement with the organisation, such as part time or full time working.
Like any attraction process, the role of the volunteer needs to be well defined. What will they do on a day to day basis, how will they be supported and what is the most efficient way for them to apply to be a volunteer? Like any recruitment process, strong employer branding is important and the use of specific volunteer information pages or even a defined section of a recruitment microsite is beneficial.
The attraction and assessment of the applicants also needs careful consideration. Like any role, volunteers need to be screened and assessed for suitability. Having a good online application processmakes this easier for recruiters and volunteers alike and allows for management information that will inform business decisions.
A good recruitment experience is just as important for a volunteer as a permanent applicant – they could be your employees of the future! Having the right recruitment process and applicant tracking system in place is an important way of developing an additional and valuable resource.