Volunteer recruitment; how to increase volunteer applications

Recruitment

Katie Taaffe

Any Volunteer Manager will tell you, it’s no mean feat to recruit volunteers – whatever the size, scale or budget of your organisation. There are so many variables in play, especially when it comes to people who are fitting a volunteering role in to an already busy schedule. These can range from the circumstances, availability or commitment of the volunteer themselves to the ever-changing programme and needs of the organisation.

Having access to a reliable recruitment or data gathering tool is one very important part of the jigsaw. If the volunteer pool is down for whatever reason, then a drive to boost the number of applicants is inevitably the first course of action. But once engaged, what can be done to ensure the success rate of these applicants is at its highest? 

Let’s look at it this way…a volunteer has found and connected with your organisation and is now browsing your website – they have sought you out and the hard bit is done. An opportunity they have seen appeals to them and they are just about to apply for the role, when they are faced with a lengthy, generic application form to download.

What not to do

Now this might seem like an incredibly useful application form, with two pages full of important information you wish to learn about your volunteer, but how does this look from the volunteer’s perspective? The form is a pain to fill out and not at all specific to the role that interested them in the first place. It has to be downloaded, printed, handwritten, scanned, then uploaded or emailed back…..and did I mention that they are browsing this opportunity on a mobile phone?

It’s easy to see why people stumble at the first hurdle and with the best intentions, applications can fail or get postponed. Unfortunately, our busy, multitasking selves don’t seem to allow for ‘later’. We prefer – and have come to expect – simplicity and efficiency; anything less that than insta-immediate is so yesterday and quickly forgotten.

Yes, this is such a small part of the process and it’s also a small part of what we do at Assemble, but let’s remember, for some, this could be their first real engagement with your organisation. We know volunteers take their roles seriously, with the hope that they can truly make an impact, so if the experience is pleasant and personal, then there’s no better foot to get off on.

No more barriers

Assemble have worked with some of the UK’s leading charities to remove barriers to entry for volunteer applications and devised a signup process that is simple, intuitive and successful. We work with organisations to seamlessly capture only the data you need immediately via an embedded contact form on your website, that is both on-brand and mobile-friendly.

From entering just a few simple details into the capture form, a volunteer profile is created and an initial connection is made. Further information and specific details – such as skills, availability and personal information – can be gathered along the journey and the applicant can monitor their own progress. The beginning of a volunteer journey can begin and whilst this is the first of many steps to increasing volunteer applications, it’s a big hurdle jumped.

What’s more, with legislation like GDPR putting increasing pressure on how you collect information – we’ve worked hard to develop functionality that will make compliance easier for you. 

Recruitment features

If you want a full list of Assemble’s recruitment features and how we assist our customers all the way along the volunteer journey, come and take the tour.