Human capital is the lifeblood of the club industry. A club requires a group of dedicated individuals in order to deliver the best possible service to its members. Often the not-for-profit nature of most clubs leads to some financial constraints, therefore clubs need to be creative when putting together a team. Recruiting volunteers is a viable way of adding value to the team without the financial implications normally associated with an employee.
University students looking to gain some practical experience are plentiful and might offer a great value proposition to your club. For example, there would be lots of students interested in completing social media and marketing tasks at your club. Offering a role that can make students more employable will likely lead to lots of applications. University students will generally be looking for these roles early in the new year. Apply the simple step by-step process listed below if you think your club could benefit from having a new volunteer or two.
Step 1: Define your role
Defining the role for the volunteer is an essential step in the process. During this stage you need to identify the tasks and responsibilities needing to be done around the club that would be allocated to the successful volunteer. Use this to help create the role description to be used in the advertisement. Make the role description achievable as this will appeal to a wider variety of applicants. Ensure your advertisement is detailed and outlines what the volunteer can expect from the role.
Step 2: Attract Applicants
Attracting applicants has the potential to be a roadblock when sourcing volunteers, so it is important to utilise all the options available to you. These include external websites and utilising existing internal communication methods.
Social media platforms
Use your existing social media platforms. Putting out a post on your Facebook page will notify people who are already taking an interest in your club that you are seeking volunteers. This group of people are likely to be the most invested in your club and could be interested in giving back to the club.
The volunteer side of popular recruitment site SEEK is considered to be the largest website for attracting volunteers in the country. Registration is fairly straightforward and will likely yield some applications. It is also free for not-for-profit organisations. Govolunteer.com.au operates in a similar manner on a slightly smaller scale. Volunteering WA also has a great volunteer search function on their website.
Other options include putting up a flyer on your club’s notice board or spreading the news by word of mouth around the club. If you want to outsource the volunteering process, you can use VIRA Volunteer Management as a way of reducing recruiting efforts. They will advertise your position on all volunteering websites for a fee and offer ways to manage your volunteers. Volunteering WA also provide additional services.
Step 3: Review Applicants
Hopefully by now, you will have had a few candidates apply, so that you can move on to the next stage. You need to analyse each application and determine the viability of the applicant being a solid long-term contributor to your club. People with a lot of existing commitments may struggle to juggle further responsibility. Some resumés may suggest that the applicant doesn’t have the experience necessary and could become a liability at your club. Select the top three to five applicants to interview.
TIP: A lot of young people won’t field calls from numbers they are unfamiliar with. If they don’t answer when you call them, try emailing them.
Step 4: Interview
Screening your candidates is an important process in identifying who is the best fit for your club. Firstly, the role requirements need to be clearly outlined to prospective volunteers so that they can determine whether or not they believe they are a fit at your organisation. Read their resumé and generate some questions to ask based on this. Make sure you are taking notes during the process, as this shows that you are actively listening and it will help you accurately recall different interviewees later on. Finally, allocate some time towards the end of the interview for the candidate to ask any questions they might have.
TIP: Be transparent about potential employment opportunities down the track.
Step 5: Select
Choosing the right candidate may come intuitively to you after the interview stage. However, if it isn’t as obvious as that, a great way to select your new volunteer is to create criteria based on the most important components. You can then easily compare each candidate based on their scores in each category. In order to assess the value they might bring to your organisation, you can evaluate them on, e.g., their cultural fit, experience and availability (see example chart below).