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Volunteering is believed to be one of the philanthropic activities, which is aimed at promoting well the quality of life. The recruitment of volunteers entails requesting individuals to offer their services in the organization without pay. This is often done in two ways, including offering people a formal form to fill their applications or offering a formal job title. It could also be done informally, whereby the top managers bring in their close friends or relatives to help in accomplishing certain organizational tasks. From time to time, an organization might need volunteers, given the fact that not all positions would need salaried employees. While recruiting volunteers, the management should look out for individuals who understand the diversity of the organization.
Moreover, volunteers should understand the needs of the community for them to offer quality services. It should be understood that each volunteer seeks to accomplish a certain mission, which is a clear indication that no individual would be willing to do something without a specific reason. People decide to engage in volunteering for several reasons (Pynes, 2009). For instance, they only decide to offer their services after someone asked them to do so. If an individual understands that his or her services are needed in the organization, they would be reluctant to turn down the chance. Some would join the organization as volunteers after realizing that the aims and the major objectives are similar to his or her intentions. Some people are concerned with social change, and they would, therefore, be willing to participate in the program without pay to spearhead reforms.
Recruiting and Managing Volunteers
Volunteers are the heart of the organization since they perform some of the duties that other salaried employees would demand a lot. Based on this, the organization has the main role in assessing its image to attract volunteers. Individuals offering free services to an organization would be willing to do so if the organization has a high reputation. In many cases, the first set of volunteers work as the board of directors. Some could be active members of the congregation while some might be well-known members of society. Volunteers can be recruited using several methods, including making contacts to the local volunteer center, making use of existing volunteers in the organization, advertising the positions in the media, and announcing the vacancies in the educational sessions and meetings. For an organization to attract the best volunteers, it should design the message in such a way that people will turn out in large numbers. The organization has the role of ensuring that volunteers are motivated to offer the best services to clients. In this regard, the management should share skills with volunteers, help them in undertaking their responsibilities, direct them as they further their career, and make them feel they are part of the organization (Ellis, 2002). This would indeed guarantee all volunteers that they are needed in the organization and would perhaps encourage them to execute their duties.
While recruiting volunteers, the organization should always adopt the best screening techniques to ensure that only the best individuals who would fulfill the organizational tasks are recruited. The screening techniques could be adopted from the placement process. Screening serves the interest of both the organization and the volunteer. Without screening, the organization might assign responsibilities to a wrong individual who would end up complaining or even quitting before accomplishing the task. Screening is of great importance in protecting the values and the reputation of the organization. Before admitting a volunteer, the management should seek to establish the record of an individual from the police, as well as the institutions of high learning. The image of an individual in the organization matters so much since it might affect client confidence.
When working with volunteers, the issue of risk management and liability reduction plays a role in preserving the organizational image. Conducting the screening process is just one of the ways through which risks could be managed. The management ought to put in place measures that would ensure effective risk management in the organization. Before bringing in volunteers, the management should ensure their safety. Risk management programs play a role in ensuring that the organization prevents individual harm, property loss, and legal suits. Volunteers must always be aware of the risk management plans before entering into any contract with the organization. The organization should analyze the insurance cover with consideration of volunteers. Since some volunteers could be students and children, the management should familiarize themselves with the provisions of the state regarding youth and children volunteering. Effective supervisory procedures should be adopted to ensure that volunteers are safe whenever executing their duties.
In managing volunteers, the organization must apply similar standards as those employed in managing salaried employees. Based on this, all volunteers should be given moral support as they attempt to realize their personal and organizational dreams. Therefore, a supervisor should be assigned to each volunteer to oversee his or her welfare. The supervisor is charged with the responsibility of offering to advise, guiding, and responding to some of the concerns raised by any volunteer. Any supervisor should make work easier for the volunteer by providing the needed materials, offering appropriate training, giving directions, and encouraging a volunteer to deliver the best results (Pinsoneault, 2001). The organization ought to empower the volunteer to realize his or her potential. This could be done by offering sufficient orientation, appropriate training, clear communication, and continuous evaluation. Any employee would deliver the best results in case his or her work is recognized. Some volunteers, especially the youth, would want to do everything to ensure that their work is recognized. This might end up exhausting them. Therefore, the role of the organization is to ensure that volunteers are prevented from burnout.
Evaluation of Volunteers
Evaluation is very important in establishing whether the organization realizes its objectives with the current set of staff and volunteers. Moreover, the organization is in a position to establish whether the needs of clients are being met in the best way possible. Through the evaluation of the performance of employees, the management can establish whether the financial resources or the staff should be relocated (Pynes, 2009). The evaluation process entails continuous data collection and analysis. This means that the management needs to put in place an evaluation design that would generate adequate data for analysis. The results should be utilized in writing reports.
Volunteer Protection Act of 1997
The volunteer act of 1997 is a federal law aiming at promoting volunteerism in the United States. The law limits and eliminates the risks that volunteers go through as they execute their duties in non-profit organizations. Among other things, the law seeks to promote the welfare of all volunteers by ensuring that their safety is given a priority. Based on this, the process of recruitment should be transparent and effective. Moreover, volunteers should be provided with all forms of support to ensure that they do not suffer from burnout. For this to happen, the management should put in place effective evaluation mechanisms.
Ellis, S.J. (2002). The Volunteer Recruitment and Membership Development Book (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: Energize.
Pinsoneault, D. (2001). Attracting and Managing Volunteers: A Parish Handbook. Liguori, MO: Liguori Publications.
Pynes, J.E. (2009). Human resources management for public and nonprofit organizations: A strategic approach (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.