Introduction to Recruiting Volunteers

Two Women Gardening from the Centre for Centre for Ageing Better Age-positive image library

Guest blog by Volunteering Barnet

For Volunteers’ Week our friends at Volunteering Barnet have written a handy guide to Recruiting Volunteers, the full PDF is downloadable below, but here are their Top Ten Tips.

  1. Make sure your organisation is “volunteer-ready” by completing the Volunteer Management Health Check.
  2. Before recruiting, carefully plan how volunteers will be involved in the organisation and create clearly defined volunteer roles.  Think about the needs of the organisation as well as people’s motivation for volunteering.
  3. Remember: volunteers are not free. It requires time and resources to involve volunteers effectively, and ensure they are properly supported.
  4. Anybody can volunteer, but people have different needs and availability. If all your volunteer roles are pretty similar, can you develop a new role which is a bit different?
  5. The distinction between a “volunteer role” and a “job” is very important. The NCVO advises that volunteer involvement should “complement and supplement the work of paid staff, but not displace paid staff or undercut their pay and conditions”.
  6. Once you have defined the roles, and ensured they are appropriate for volunteers, you should write a clear and concise role description for each role.  Avoid language which suggests paid employment, e.g. “part-time” or “work”
  7. Volunteer roles should be flexible, so the role description does not have to be set in stone.
  8. Plan your recruitment process before promoting the role. It should be fair and consistent for all applicants.
  9. Before launching a recruitment campaign, think about your target audience and their needs. Your audience may be based on the skills you are looking for, the location of the role, or perhaps you have identified a group that is underrepresented amongst your volunteers.
  10. Looking to volunteer or recruit volunteers and need more information or support contact Volunteering Barnet.
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Photo of Two Women Gardening from the Centre for Ageing Better Age-positive image library.


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