Promising Practices for Engaging Job Seekers as Volunteers
1. Assess your readiness to engage job seekers as volunteers.
2. Be prepared to present a case statement of the value the extra volunteer power will bring. Expect that everyone in the organization might not be enthusiastic about involving job seekers as volunteers.
3. Understand the varied motivations of job seekers for volunteering and the expectations of workforce centers, schools and organizations that refer job seekers for volunteering.
4. In designing how job seekers are involved as volunteers, build in strategies to address the main challenge of job seekers as volunteers at all steps of the process – their time availability may change suddenly if they find employment.
5. Develop recruitment messages that appeal to the motivation of job seekers for volunteering. Develop partnerships with workforce centers, schools and other organizations that support job seekers in finding employment.
6. When interviewing job seekers for volunteering, offer a formal interview to assist with gaining interview experience. Ask questions on their motivation for volunteering to better understand their expectations.
7. The “win win” for the organization and volunteer happens when there is truly a good fit of the volunteer in the position.
8. Be ready to offer extra support to meet expectations of the volunteer or referring organization.
9. Be ready to provide recommendations on the work done and to refer the job seekers to the tools developed by MAVA on how to put the volunteer work on a resume and discuss in an interview.