If you’re looking to hire someone within your organization what’s the first thing you do? Write a job description! The same thought process needs to apply for your volunteer recruitment.
A job description is a really helpful way to communicate clear expectations for your volunteers, helping you to attract the right volunteers for your nonprofit, event and/or organization. With volunteers giving up their time to help, the least you can do is let them know what to expect.
Volunteer job descriptions can vary from a few sentences to a full page and is dependent on the complexity and level of detail required for the role. If for instance you were looking to write a volunteer job description for an event volunteer marshalling at a certain location you may only need a few sentences on what the role will entail and details around the shift timings.
However if you were looking to recruit a volunteer with higher responsibilities and deadlines for a certain period of time (possibly an office position) it makes sense to treat this similar to how you would treat recruitment for any other role within your organization. This includes a detailed job description so that you can attract the best candidates to the role.
A good volunteer job description should explain the role including the skills, abilities and the time commitment required to perform the volunteer role successfully. Preparing a volunteering job description is a good way for your nonprofit, event and/or organization to really understand what jobs you want your volunteers to assist with and how many volunteers will be required to complete the task.
Remember that volunteers come from all walks of life so keep your language clear and professional plain English staying away from using slang.
We’ve put together a list of details you should include in your volunteer job description to ensure that you attract the right volunteers for the right roles.
- Job description. Provide a title for your volunteer roles. Remembering that volunteers volunteer for different reasons, providing a title not only helps to provide a sense of ownership and pride but also helps for those looking to gain relevant experience for their CV. Try and avoid including ‘volunteer’ in the title - get creative and have some fun!
- Location details. Outline the location for the role. Does this role require travel from one location to another? Is this role based inside or outside? Is the volunteer required to transport themselves? These are all details that the volunteer will want to know before making their decision.
- Role. This is your opportunity to clearly outline the role and the expectations including day to day activities, responsibilities and any key deliverables. Take the time to outline how this role affects and contributes to the broader organization's mission.
- Skills. If there are specific skills required, make this clear in order to attract the right volunteers to your organization! Need a volunteer to help develop content for social media? List the skills you would like volunteer candidates to hold - for example, the successful candidate must have basic experience developing and posting content on Facebook, Instagram etc.
- Line of approval. Outline who the volunteer will be reporting into and their role within the organization so that there is transparency around management
- Benefits to the volunteer. Remembering that volunteering is a two way street, think about the ways in which this role can benefit someone. Whether this is access to a unique event, assistance fundraising or industry experience and networking opportunities there are so many benefits to volunteering.
- Certifications. In some instances you may require your volunteers to hold certain certifications including a Working with Children’s Check, First Aid Certificate and/or Forklift Licence. If this is the case, make sure that this is outlined clearly in your volunteer job description.
- Expectations. Outline the time commitment required for the role including the duration of the role - is this a one off role or is this role ongoing for the entire year?
- Additional training. If additional training is required as part of this role, make this clear in the volunteer job description. For example, if your volunteers are working at a certain venue they may be required to complete a venue induction prior to their shift.