The Recruit stage involves a considered process to find the right person for the right role and ensure the time you spent planning does not go to waste.
Follow these steps to ease stress and attract suitable volunteer applicants:
- Review the Volunteer Applications
- Advertise the Role
- Prepare for Interview(s)
- Conduct Interview(s)
- Reflect after Interview(s)
Review the Volunteer Applications
A suitable person for the role may have already expressed an interest to help through salvationarmy.ca. Before contacting an applicant, refer to their registration date and consider how much time has lapsed as their availability may have changed.
Advertise the Role
If there are no existing suitable applicants, the next step is to advertise the role. In line with The Salvation Army's values, you must ensure the advertisement is not discriminatory in any way with respect to race, religion, gender, lifestyle, age, etc. Only include the skills and experience needed for the role.
Here are some effective, free ways to do this:
- Word-of-mouth - Make sure your volunteers are aware of how much they are valued and inform them when you need more volunteers.
- Your website and social media channels - Advertise volunteer roles on your website and social media channels. Be as specific and transparent as possible.
- Volunteer centres – Make use of local Volunteer centres that are equipped to help you.
- United Way - Connect with your local United Way and ask about the best way for you to find the right volunteer through their resources.
Prepare for Interview(s)
After advertising the role and attaining the interest of potential volunteers, it is time to organize interviews. Do not be tempted to jump straight into recruiting without an interview—what appears on paper does not always translate in reality.
Take time to:
- Organize an appropriate (quiet and comfortable) location for the interview(s).
- Prepare how you will explain The Salvation Army as an organization and the program/service the volunteer role sits within.
- Draft your interview questions based on how the applicant can demonstrate the required attributes and experience as per the role description.
Conduct the Interview(s)
Your goal is to hire the best possible volunteers and the interview is the key step in finding a great match for the role. Each interview will have its own variations but here are some elements of a great interview that should always be employed.
1. Set the tone. Thank the applicant for coming in, offer them a drink and explain how this interview will be conducted.
2. Introduce yourself, The Salvation Army and the specific program/service the volunteer role sits within. Keep this quite broad and conversational.
3. Describe the role. Use the role description as a guide to discuss what the role involves. Also mention any requirements inherent in these tasks, such as the ability to sit for prolonged periods.
4. Ask your prepared questions. Use open-ended questions to give the applicant an opportunity to demonstrate whether they have the relevant knowledge, skills and experience to fulfil the tasks.
5. Invite the applicant to ask questions. This allows the applicant to clarify any uncertainties.
6. Thank the applicant. Recognize that the applicant has given of their time to prepare for and attend the interview and let the applicant know the next stage of the process.
Reflect after Interview(s)
In reflecting after an interview, consider:
You may ask yourself:
- Does the applicant have the necessary attributes, skills and qualifications to fulfil the role?
- Does the applicant have the suitable character to fulfil the role?
- How will the applicant get along with other people on the team?
- What is the applicant’s motivation for volunteering? Will this role satisfy their motivation?
- Will the applicant fit within the culture of The Salvation Army and the specific ministry unit/corps?
It is imperative to take the time needed to properly screen a volunteer according to the requirements for the role they have applied for. Please refer to the Role Risk Matrix to identify the correct process.
It is vital to the success of your programs and services, as well as the reputation of the organization, that volunteers are screened for the level of involvement and responsibility they will be given in their assigned role. The screening process should be made transparent to the volunteer and reflect the Risk Role Matrix that has been developed to assess volunteer roles.
Discrimination in recruiting volunteers is unacceptable. Discrimination is treating, or proposing to treat, someone unfavourably because of a personal attribute protected by law.
To minimize the risk of discrimination:
- Use a role description to recruit a volunteer, stating the required skills and experience, without references to personal attributes (for example, gender identity, disability, race, sexual orientation, etc.).
- Prepare interview questions that relate directly to the role requirements and adhere to the Canadian Human Rights Act.
- Do not ask questions that may be relevant only to certain people. For example, a potentially discriminatory question would be asking a woman if she is planning on getting pregnant in the future.
Throughout the recruit stage, have you:
Taking a considered approach to recruitment allows you to feel prepared and confident when interviewing applicants. It will also ensure you are being proactive, rather than reactive, and find the right person for the role.
Please click on the resource links below to access the files for each Behind the Shield resource. All resources are available in both French and English. For some of these resources, we have created a version that can be printed on any printer you have access to and a version that should be used if you are outsourcing to a print house. Please read the file names carefully and choose the resource that best suits your needs.
Role Posting and Interview:
- Volunteer Role Postings EN
- Volunteer Role Postings FR
- Volunteer Interview Guide EN
- Volunteer Interview Guide FR
- Sample Interview Questions EN
- Sample Interview Questions FR
- Volunteer Files for Salvation Army Records EN (Coming Soon!)
- Volunteer Files for Salvation Army Records FR (Coming Soon!)