Recruit the best volunteers in this competitive market

Volunteers2web

Stephanie Murtagh says recruiting the best volunteers will be crucial to the success of charities in times of austerity 

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20th March 2017 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

After reading the National Council for Voluntary Organisation’s The Road Ahead, it is clear that there are many challenges facing the not-for-profit sector in 2017; Brexit, public funding cuts, data protection and increased inflation to name a few.

However, from reading the report the issue that speaks out the most is that volunteers underpin everything, but following economic and political instability, are people less inclined to offer their time?

NCVO estimates that over 12.7 million people volunteer for a charity per month in the UK. In 2005, volunteering was at an all-time low, and has been increasing 5-6% each year since.

Stephanie Murtagh

Stephanie Murtagh

Embracing a new strategic approach to charity recruiting and managing talent can certainly increase your attractiveness in the market and also increase efficiency

Granted, the 12.7 million are made up of people that might volunteer once a year, dedicate just one hour a week or be full-time volunteers. However, regardlyess, it means there are lots of people recruited in the charities sector to manage. People from diverse backgrounds with various talents, skills, experience, ages and with different availabilities; they need to be managed efficiently and it can all get a bit complicated. 

Government funding to charities tends to follow the trend set by government departmental spending and therefore is likely to follow the same spending cuts in the government’s pursuit to balance the books. The not-for-profit sector can expect a reduction in public funding and will need to look at strategies to cut costs and improve performance. With financial constraints, highly-skilled charity volunteers are key to the future success of the third sector. Effectively recruiting and managing the volume of volunteers could ensure secure grounding for the future.

We can’t ignore that our population is growing rapidly and people are living for longer and in turn have the ability to work well into post-retirement age. I mean, having worked your whole life, why would you want to then work for free? If you want to attract the untapped talent, your organisation may need to adapt its way of working to entice such lucrative talent.

What does your organisation need to do to attract new talent?

  • Go digital – in the ever-evolving world, using social media tools has become almost second nature. By boosting your activity online and in groups, you are more likely to get your message to the masses. 
  • Promote flexibility – flexibility is the biggest cultural change and challenge. No matter what your age or circumstances are, a flexible working environment is preferable to accommodate daily life.
  • Promote the benefits – volunteering is a rewarding experience. The right match can help you relieve stress, find friends, reach out to the community and learn new skills.

Embracing a new strategic approach to charity recruiting and managing talent can certainly increase your attractiveness in the market and also increase efficiency. This will allow you to do what you do best and help those who are most marginalised and offer support to those in need.

To overcome these challenges, MHR works with over 90 charities and not for profits in the UK, helping to put in place a HR and talent management strategy to reduce HR processing costs, ensure data compliance, and attract and retain talent – ultimately improving the HR brand and the employee and volunteer experience. 

Stephanie Murtagh is product marketing manager at MHR, a specialist provider of software and outsourcing services for HR, talent management, payroll and business intelligence

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