Volunteer Recruitment & Support
Having decided which voluntary opportunities are of interest, what should volunteers reasonably expect to happen next?
It is hoped that every organisation would respond promptly to all enquiries from potential volunteers and acknowledge their interest in a positive way.
Recruitment procedures should be open and fair and are likely to include an interview, checks on references and, where necessary, police checks as well. This is simply good practice and reflects the increasingly professional approach that volunteer-involving organisations are taking nowadays.
As a rule, before volunteers start with an organisation, they should have a clear understanding of the tasks which they are expected to carry out. Ideally, these tasks should be set out in a written Role Description which includes the overall purpose of the role and the required time commitment. Volunteers’ responsibilities include:
- being reliable and meeting their commitments
- informing the organisation in good time if they cannot attend
- being honest
- respecting confidentiality
- treating everyone equally
New volunteers should be expected, welcomed and introduced to other volunteers and staff.
There should be a full programme of induction which includes the physical layout of the work place, where to get refreshments, any rota arrangements and how to use equipment. Health and safety procedures should also be explained. Information about the organisation, its history and the services it provides is relevant too.
Volunteers should know to whom they report and who is responsible for their support including the development of their skills and knowledge. They also have the right to see written grievance and appeal procedures. In addition, volunteers should also expect adequate insurance cover to be provided including personal accident and to discuss and agree the question of out-of-pocket expenses. Reimbursement of expenses should always be offered, against receipts.
The greater the investment in time and effort at the start of a volunteer’s involvement with an organisation, the stronger will be that volunteer’s motivation and commitment to that organisation. Volunteering is undoubtedly a two-way process!