~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism
RECRUITING AND RETENTION
Visit this page for ideas,
suggestions and hints to build recruitment capacity.
- Effective Recruiting Speeches
- Responsibility: A Recognition
- Saving Time in Recruiting
Volunteer managers, executive
directors, administrators, and volunteers are often asked to speak
before groups about a program, service, or organization. These
informational speeches are a fertile ground for making an appeal
for volunteers. Here are two tips that go a long way in making
stories. Sharing a story
that is close to the interest of the learner is a sure-fire way
to get and keep the attention of an audience. The three most
appealing topics are: family, hometown, and a volunteer experience.
Telling a story puts a human face on a subject. Volunteers are
real people, with names, families, and a commitment to the program.
The story illustrates the work of the organization, but it also
lays the foundation for asking people if they wish to have similar
experiences by volunteering for the program.
||Talk about the
interests of the audience.
Do a bit of research on the group to whom you will be speaking.
What is it they care about? Imagine you are speaking to a group
of accountants, what things might interest them. Start the speech
by referring to their interests. "Several of you cornered
me before the speech and wanted to know. . ."
A Recognition Item
Those who work with volunteers
tend to think of recognition in terms of pins, plaques, free dinners,
or certificates. Recognition is defined by volunteers in a broader
context. Surveys of volunteers say that the best recognition is
when the organization gave them a tougher job. Encouraging volunteers
to step up to the plate and take on a new challenge is seen as
a reward. Here's a technique to use responsibility as a recognition
- Share your
Take some aspect of your
job duties and ask a very capable volunteer to take it over.
This can be rotated to avoid volunteer burnout and to enhance
the leadership skills of a greater range of volunteers.
- Give a volunteer
a "remodeling" job.
Volunteers often take on new challenges or tasks, but what about
the things that need "fixing-up?" A team of volunteers
can be presented with a problem. (It must be very clearly defined!).
The task of the team is to propose a plan to remedy the situation.
Set deadlines, check in points, and appoint leaders. Let the
group keep you updated at they progress.
- Be a volunteer
supporter. When volunteers
are given real responsibility and authority, they still need
support. The role of the leader is to position yourself as the
aide to the volunteer. How can you help with small things? (sending
meeting notices, photocopying of documents, Web research by another
volunteer) Does the volunteer or group have the tools needed
to do the job? (Web access, phone contact information, a cell
Online recruiting is bringing
inquiries from people interested in volunteering, but who might
not be a good match with an organization of program. The recruiting
process, applications, interviews, screening, is time consuming
if the person and the program are wrong for each other. Here are
some tips to save the time and expense of a full recruitment process.
- Pre-screen. Train
experienced volunteers to conduct a five-minute pre-screening
interview with the prospective volunteer. The volunteers need
to be carefully trained so they can read between the lines, determine
if a different type of position in the organization might be
more suitable, or if this is a bad match. The task here is to
inform the prospective volunteer sufficiently to help them decide
if this is the right placement. It helps if the volunteer knows
the community well enough to offer other options. It is always
impressive when a store clerk says, "No we don't carry that
item, but I will give you the address of a store that does carry
them a job.
A time saver is to ask the
prospective volunteer to do something. They might work in the
volunteer office for two hours, or review case studies based
on real events in the organization and write how they would have
address the issues. One organization asks volunteers to review
a manual before signing up. Over half the potential applicants
never return the forms. This is a way to save time and the money
in recruiting someone whom is not serious about volunteering.
DAILY POINTS OF LIGHT
AWARD FORMS AVAILABLE
The Points of Light Foundation
has forms available to nominate volunteers and volunteer organizations
for the Daily Points of Light Award. It is designed recognize
individuals and groups that demonstrate unique and innovative
approaches to community volunteering and citizen action, with
a strong emphasis on service focused on the goals for children
and young people set by the Presidents Summit for American's Future.
The award is given five days a
week, excluding holidays. If you would like nomination forms,
contact Crystal Hill at 202-729-8000.
By calling 1-800-VOLUNTEER
in the U.S., individuals can be connected to their local volunteer
This is a national interactive
call routing system designed to get volunteers connected to people
who can help them volunteer.
Copyright 2001 by Nancy