Effective recruitment of volunteers is a multi-step process that begins with excellent planning. Before reaching out to recruit potential volunteers, organizations need to look within to develop a clear understanding of their volunteer needs and expectations.
The goal of recruitment planning is to develop a full picture of your volunteer needs: the number and type of volunteers you need, the skills they need to have and why you need them. It involves answering the following types of questions:
- Who do we need?
- Why do we need them?
- What will they be doing?
- How will they contribute to the organization?
- How will our organization benefit them?
- How many volunteers do we need?
- When do we need them?
- How long do we need them for?
Once you have a clear picture from within your organization you can begin developing a message and a strategy to reach the right potential volunteers for the positions you have identified by asking questions like these:
- Where can these people be found?
- What recruiting strategies will be most effective in reaching them?
- How can we focus our recruiting efforts on techniques that are most likely to reach the people we want with our message?
Community Literacy of Ontario has a number of resources to assist agencies work through the process of identifying your agency’s volunteer needs and developing recruiting strategies to meet them, including sample job descriptions. Be sure to check out our “Resources” section of this training module.
For example, CLO’s “Beyond Recruitment: Recruiting and Maintaining Volunteers in the New Environment” offers information on useful topics such as the changing volunteer environment; the new volunteer and getting the right volunteers.