The Key to Recruiting Skilled Volunteers: Defining Their Role in 4 Simple Steps
Posted Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 by Sterling Volunteers Staff
If volunteering were an Easter egg hunt, skilled volunteers would be the rare but much appreciated golden eggs of the volunteer candidate pool. Regular volunteer candidates are amazing; they can help in a wide range of positions and are eager to learn new skills. That said, skilled volunteers come equipped with specific types of experience and are excited to immediately put that experience to use!
When your organization finds itself with an opening for a volunteer position that calls for experience in a particular field and already well-honed skills, you need to find a volunteer candidate with the specialized background to match. Unfortunately, skilled volunteers aren’t always the easiest group to attract. The secret to getting them in the door is easy: tell them what you need from them.
Let’s cover how to attract the best and brightest skilled volunteers in 4 easy steps.
- Start with realistic expectations. Skilled volunteering greatly narrows your pool of volunteer candidates, but don’t lose hope. The specific volunteer you’re looking for is out there, it may just take a good deal of searching and recruiting to find them. You can help speed up the process by creating a well-defined position description that will draw in skilled volunteers. How do you get started?
- Ask yourself/your organization what you need. What is it that your organization needs from this new position? Maybe you need a new marketing assistant to help boost your nonprofit’s social media presence or an email specialist to help coordinate newsletter emails. No matter what the role, take the time to develop an engaging and accurate title and a specific set of responsibilities. This is the beginning of a compelling position description that will attract top skilled volunteers.
- Create a position description that details what you want your volunteer to do. When putting together the position description, ask yourself how a skilled volunteer can help with the needs you previously identified. For instance, if you need proposals written for grants, you want to look for a volunteer candidate with experience in grant writing or some type of transferable composition or editing skill. Be careful not to limit the pool too strictly though – someone with marketing skills could very well be great at writing grants! Don’t be afraid to be specific in the responsibilities, but keep an open mind when it comes to experience.
- Market the role to the volunteer and get them excited! You’ve created a detailed position description that’s specific and lays out exactly what your organization needs from the new position. Now it’s time to win the attention of a professional looking to donate their time! Along with your position description, let your volunteer know what an incredible impact they will make in this role with your organization, and don’t forget to tell them how they themselves will benefit from helping others.
How does your organization attract skilled volunteers through dynamic position descriptions to help with your nonprofit’s mission? We’d love to hear your tips. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to share your tips for success!