How to recruit volunteers for your organisation: 5 easy steps
Do you want to know how to recruit volunteers for your organisation?
Recruiting volunteers is a great way to get help for your organisation, at the same time as providing a valuable experience for the people volunteering.
If you’re responsible for recruiting volunteers in your organisation, you’ll know how important it is to make sure you find the right people for the job.
This is especially crucial in sectors that involve working with children and vulnerable adults, like the care and education sectors.
To help you out, we’ve put together a guide on some of the best ways to recruit volunteers for your organisation in five easy steps.
Do some background work
You may want volunteers for your business – but where do you start?
Before you begin the recruitment process, consult with any relevant committees, trustees, employees or current volunteers.
Carefully consider why the organisation needs volunteers, and what tasks would be best suited to the volunteers.
Think about what experience and skills your organisation would require from its volunteers.
Plan out how you’ll recruit, select, train and manage your volunteers. There may already be a volunteer policy in place that explains how to recruit volunteers for your organisation.
Prepare your message
Based on the background work you’ve done, prepare a volunteer role description and application form.
Your role description should clearly and concisely explain the following:
- What your organisation does and who it benefits
- The volunteer roles available and what they involve
- The impact a volunteer can have in supporting the organisation’s cause
- How volunteers can benefit from working with the organisation
- How people can find out more if they’re interested in volunteering
Design a simple application form to go with your volunteer role description. This will help make sure you’re recruiting in line with equal opportunities and diversity policy. Here are some more tips on improving equality and diversity in your organisation.
Make sure you use different language where appropriate, and ensure your application is accessible for people with disabilities.
Don’t forget to include contact details and a link to your website, so it’s easy for volunteers to get in touch.
Spread the word
There are lots of different ways to advertise your volunteer opportunity.
Start by promoting the opportunity on your organisation’s website. You could also advertise it via your organisation’s social media accounts.
Leaflets, posters and other printed materials can be effective, as can ads in the press or on the radio.
You could list the opportunity in local Volunteer Centre databases, or use a volunteer recruitment website.
Speaking at events during Volunteers’ Week is a great way to reach potential volunteers. And don’t underestimate the power of good old fashioned word of mouth!
Once you’ve received some suitable applications, you can start inviting people in for interviews.
Volunteer interviews should be fairly informal. Remember, people are offering you their time rather than looking for paid employment.
Asking the applicant to tell you a bit about them is a good way to start. You could follow this by exploring why they want to volunteer.
Explain a bit about what the organisation does, and make sure the applicant understands what the volunteer role will involve.
Leave time at the end for the applicant to ask questions. Be ready to explain any requirements applicants need to meet before volunteering, and any training or support that will be provided.
Appoint your volunteers
So you’ve decided an applicant has the right skills, attributes or experience to be a volunteer for your organisation – great!
The next step is to get in touch to offer them the role and agree on a start date.
Before your new volunteers are inducted, seek references. A simple letter or email from two referees should be enough.
In some cases you may also want to talk to referees on the phone in order to fully assess the applicant’s ability to undertake the role.
If the volunteer role involves working with children or vulnerable adults, applicants may need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before they start.
How to recruit volunteers for your organisation: a summary
Our guide should have given you a good idea of how to recruit volunteers for your organisation.
Good luck – choosing the right volunteers is an important step in supporting your organisation to achieve its aims.
If you’d like more information about DBS checks for volunteers, get in touch with us today. Our expert team would be more than happy to advise you.