Recruitment Tips, Scheduling for Community Events, and Interview Questions | Track It Forward

Recruitment Tips, Scheduling for Community Events, and Interview Questions

Written by Melissa Davis

Recap for June 7th - June 20th

Some of the most popular topics from our Facebook community this week included recruitment tips for new volunteers, shift scheduling for community events, and interview questions for new employees. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion! 

Recruitment Tips

Volunteer recruitment is one of the most popular topics we see in the volunteer coordinator resource community! Even the most established volunteer programs find themselves in need of new volunteers each year. 

As we discussed in a previous recap, it’s important to determine what type of volunteer would be the best fit for your program. Some programs rely heavily on college students, while others prefer to recruit recent retirees. If someone isn’t the right fit for your program, consider recommending them to a different organization. Networking with other area nonprofits can be a great way to make connections with potential volunteers. 

What are your best recruitment tips? Specifically for hospice volunteers but open to all tips, beat places, what events you attend etc.

Suggestions for Recruitment 

  • “Colleges (community colleges are especially fruitful); radio stations will often do free ads for you”

  • “Adult education classes.”

  • “I used a lot, flyers in the community, low key/fun events where volunteers could bring friends/family who were potentially interested in volunteering and they could ask questions and could learn about the program, partnerships with local colleges (especially those with medical programs), partnerships with VFW’s, military bases etc, company’s social media posting about volunteers and calls to action etc…”

  • “Never say no. If someone isn't a good fit for you, suggest other places for them to volunteer. The favor will come back to you.”

  • “We are a Catholic hospice organization and have wonderful success in area church bulletins.”

Join the conversation here!

Community Events

For many nonprofits, engaging with the local community at fairs, festivals, and expos is a great way to make connections and promote programs and services. Coordinating volunteers to assist with these events can help alleviate the responsibilities of staff members. 

In terms of scheduling, our coordinators had some great feedback about finding the right balance for shifts. It’s important to make sure the volunteer feels like the event is worth their time, but not make it feel like an overwhelming commitment. Scheduling volunteers with a slight overlap can also ensure there’s enough time to transition from one group to the next. 

First question: What do you think is a good shift length for these types of events? I have one outdoor event coming up on July 3rd 12pm-8pm that I was going to staff all day + have two volunteer shifts with two volunteers each (so two 4-hour, 3-person shifts so we can take breaks). My manager is saying 2-hour shifts. What do you all think?

Ideas from Others

  • “I am a 4 hour fan, but if they have to be 2 hours, I would advertise that people can sign up for multiple shifts.”

  • “We haven't done that many but we do two hours, two to three per table.”

  • “I used to plan a lot of these. I'd typically do 3-4 hour shifts, with a 30 minute overlap between the two. Sometimes when I'd recruit for very short events, that were just 2 hours, the volunteers were less likely to sign up because it wasn't worth their time to prep and drive to/from for just 2 hours.And on the other side, the rare occasion I would do any shift over 5 hours, it was too long and too much of an ask. A 3-4 hour shift is the sweet spot! Good luck!”

  • “Especially for the outdoor events, pay attention to the typical weather. If it's blistering hot out, shorter shifts might be better.”

  • “2 hours with option to sign up for multiple shifts. I'm also a fan of the ten minute crossover. Someone always gets stuck trying to park.”

Check out all of the comments here!

Interview Questions

When it’s time to hire a new member of the volunteer department, you will probably find yourself reviewing a list of potential interview questions to ask. Like any job, the interview process gives you the opportunity to learn more about each candidate and evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, and overall fit for the organization. 

Your approach to the interview will likely depend on the type of role you are filling and what responsibilities are involved. For more detailed examples, you can check out this article from our hiring series that discusses interview questions to consider! 

Hi all! I'm wondering what your best interview questions are for other volunteer coordinators or managers? We're expanding our department and I'll be interviewing for someone to work on the same level as me but in a slightly different capacity. Any suggestions on good questions to test if we'll work we'll together?

Comments from Others

  • “When you're deep in a project and someone asks you to change gears (work on something else), how does that make you feel? Can you give me an example of when this happened to you?”

  • “Tell me what steps you’d take to convince a co-worker to see your point of view.”

  • "Tell me about your favorite volunteer and your most challenging volunteer."

  • “I, personally, ask what type of volunteer experience they have. I can’t expect them to relate to a volunteer if they do not volunteer themselves.”

Add your own thoughts here!