Betty Stallings of Energize, Inc. has created a series of training modules. GAVA will be presenting these trainings during Lunch & Learn Sessions. Join us for our first session on Volunteer Recruitment.
Often when staff or members of an organization are involved in volunteer recruitment, they are so anxious to fill slots or add to the membership that little care is given to finding the right people.
Everyone can relate to the consequences to the new volunteer and to the organization when the wrong
person is recruited. The volunteer feels incompetent and/or unfulfilled, leading to performance and
retention problems. The organization does not get the job done well and builds resentment or resistance to further utilization of volunteers. Successful recruitment involves marketing your organization's volunteer needs to the segment of
people who can fill your needs while simultaneously filling their own (e.g., finding a graduate student
who needs experience in public relations when you are looking for a person to focus on a PR plan for
your new project). Recruitment is not merely following prescribed techniques to attract potential
volunteers, but rather designing a strategy to find the right volunteer and then utilizing an appropriate outreach technique to invite them to consider becoming a volunteer or member. It is difficult to isolate the topic of recruitment because its ultimate success is intertwined with the development of good volunteer positions (the product you are selling in recruitment) and with having an organization prepared to utilize volunteers' time and talents effectively when they arrive. It is important, however, to examine how potential volunteers are invited to become a part of your organization, particularly if the recruitment function is not centralized. Even if most volunteers go through a central recruitment process, all staff and volunteers within an organization are a significant part of its informal volunteer recruitment team. Thus, the principles of recruitment should be useful for staff to learn − whether they carry out this function themselves or are general ambassadors for the program.