5 top tips for recruiting volunteers

AdobeStock 298208428 scaled 1 | 5 top tips for recruiting volunteers
By Paula Smith | 12th November 2020 | 4 min read

Whether an individual is looking to learn new skills, meet new friends, or simply make a valuable contribution to your cause, recruiting volunteers is undoubtedly a critical source of support for charities. However, it is largely recognised that one of the main reasons people have not looked to get involved with volunteering is that they have never thought about it! 

So recruiting volunteers can often prove difficult. 

Check out our latest top tips to help you maximise your efforts and create a pool of volunteers that you can call on as and when you need them.

TIP 1: Ensure your volunteering opportunities are always available 

Even if you don’t have many volunteer opportunities, providing people with the ability to register their interests will help speed up the process and significantly reduce the cost of recruiting volunteers for your future requirements. 

Whilst some charities choose to run a generic vacancy continuously on their website, others often choose a more focused approach based on specific roles or locations. The key is to make sure that should someone land on your website or careers page that they are immediately aware of the opportunities you offer and can apply to become a volunteer.

TIP 2: Provide a quick and simple application process

As well as making sure that potential volunteers can view your opportunities at all times, the actual process of applying should be both quick and easy to do. 

You need to engage with individuals when they are active and make sure they can submit their details there and then with minimum effort. 

Key functionality such as registering using Facebook, Google or LinkedIn can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes for volunteers to provide basic contact details, or the use of a simple form will allow you to ask the basic questions you need to manage applications efficiently. Most importantly the process needs to be mobile-friendly to support access driven by posts on social media and people registering whilst on the move.

TIP 3: Make sure your adverts are clear and concise 

Salaries are undoubtedly one of the most important factors when advertising for paid positions. This is because it allows people to quickly identify if it is within their salary range and can also allude to the level of the role the company is recruiting for. 

When it comes to unpaid volunteering roles, companies need to focus on providing a clear and concise outline of the role and what it entails, including the location of work, skills required,  daily tasks any checks that need to take place, and the minimum or maximum number of hours volunteers are expected to contribute.  

You need to sell the opportunity and the wider enriching benefits of volunteering. Ultimately the more information you provide, the more it will help in recruiting volunteers, by alleviating any fears in terms of whether they will find themselves unable to commit to the amount of time you require or have the skills you need. 

TIP 4: Tap into the potential of Social Media 

Social media provides access to the biggest networks of people and essentially potential volunteers. Being able to promote your vacancies effectively across these platforms will help you increase the exposure of your opportunities and reach more people than ever before. 

Posting opportunities on your own corporate feed is a great place to start as you will be able to engage directly with people who already have an interest in your organisation or cause. 

However, the true power of Social can only be recognised by reaching those outside of your existing network. Posting in groups and targeting people in specific areas will help you reach thousands of people extremely quickly. You can also look at allocating a small budget for sponsored posts and role advertisements, which not only support awareness for your cause and charity but highlights the ongoing opportunities for people to get involved! 

TIP 5: Ensure you can easily sort/filter/identify those in your talent pool 

It is extremely important that you don’t just focus purely on attracting volunteers, as you could end up with lots of individuals who are not the right for your organisation. 

Being able to establish if people are suitable may prove more difficult than you think without the right tools in place.  

If you had a new volunteering opportunity, how would you identify if you have anyone suitable from those who have already applied? Can you filter or sort people according to their address or preferred volunteering location? Can you view those who have volunteered with you before? Or those who have already had the necessary checks you require? 

Consider what technology and processes you need to have in place to maximise your existing talent pool and continue to grow ready for future volunteering needs. Reviewing your tools and technology can also offer huge time and cost savings too and will enable you to focus on what matters - engaging with passionate volunteers.

At IRIS we work with leading charities across the UK providing the technology and the support they require to recruit top talent across the entire organisation; from CEO to Fundraising Managers, to Volunteers.

For more information on how we could support you in recruiting volunteers, check out our IRIS networx solutions.