3 Steps to Finding the Perfect Volunteer

We recently hosted the second webinar of our three-part series, Enhancing the Volunteer Lifecycle. In Part 2, Recruiting & Onboarding, we discussed recruiting strategies to help you find the best volunteer candidates in your local community. We also talked about onboarding – how can you create an efficient and (somewhat) effortless onboarding process? Let us help you sharpen your recruiting skills, find that volunteer candidate with a wonderful mix of attitude and experience, and create an amazing onboarding experience for your volunteers.

Volunteer Managers, when a position opens at your organization and you begin your search for the perfect volunteer candidate, how many of you are guilty of simply posting a description and waiting for a response? This sort of search, where you cast a wide net and hope the ideal volunteer candidate stumbles upon the post, works in some cases, but it isn’t the best way to recruit top talent for your nonprofit. Here are the three steps (at a high level) you need to take to find the right volunteers for your organization:

  1. Create a comprehensive position description. We discussed this in detail in our first webinar of the series, and it ties in with our current topic for improving your organization’s overall recruiting and onboarding strategy. When you’re writing a position description, have a target audience in mind, be specific as possible with tasks, and make sure the description communicates how the potential volunteer will make an incredible impact on the local community with their time and skills. And if you use your current staff or volunteers to help you recruit for the position (like we cover in the next point below), make sure they are trained on the position and how to market it to a potential volunteer.
  2. Look internally to recruit for an open position. Don’t post a few fliers up around the local neighborhood or an online volunteer site and expect a long line of candidates to show up at your nonprofit’s doorstep. Use your time more efficiently ― when a position opens up in your organization first look at the amazing help you already have. Ask volunteers and staff if they know of someone who fits the position description you carefully put together. They will be excited to recommend someone in their network for the position. Plus, they know the unique atmosphere you, your organization and your staff and volunteers have created working together to better the community and they can recommend someone who will assimilate quickly and add value. The chances are very high someone in your network knows the volunteer candidate with the skills and availability you’re looking for.
  3. It’s time to onboard. At last you’ve finally found that one-of-a-kind volunteer with the skill set and availability that perfectly aligns with your organization’s goals – now it’s time to train them! Begin developing a training program by sitting down and brainstorming. What core information does any and every new volunteer need to know about your organization, how it functions, and how your mission is implemented? Don’t forget to add in information about your nonprofit’s vision, history, and policies and procedures. Whether you’re creating an onboarding program for the first time or updating an existing one, try to include hybrid training – it keeps candidates engaged by being half in-person/in writing and half online. That frees up more time for you and your organization to focus on the amazing work you do in your local community.

Did you miss the webinar? Check out Recruiting & Onboarding on-demand.

Volunteer Managers, what’s your method for creating engaging and effective recruiting and onboarding strategies? We would like to hear your ideas! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and share your comments below.

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