In today’s marketplace, employers have their choice of qualified job candidates. I recommend your hiring with a strong bias towards people with volunteer experience. What makes them better qualified to work at your company?
This is what I can tell you about volunteers. Volunteers:
- Have developed personally and professionally through their volunteer work, often including leadership skills. Ask them about what they’ve done, and what they’ve learned from their participation.
- Go above and beyond their personal and work responsibilities, rather than complaining that they have too much to do.
- Have spent time thinking about where they want to get involved in their community and what role they’d like to play. That means they’re likely to be more thoughtful and purposeful about choosing the employer and position they’d like as well.
- Have met people through volunteering outside of their usual circle of friends. Through this experience, they show their interest, openness, and experience in meeting new people.
- Have something to talk about with colleagues and clients other than work. Discussions about volunteering and community interest are often great bonding opportunities.
- Are often natural leaders, having demonstrated the initiative to do more than is asked, to step outside of their comfort zones, and often to share in an organization’s vision of the community’s greater potential.
Wouldn’t you rather hire someone who has all this value to bring to your team at work?