Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Video Interviewing: Lending a Helping Hand Finding Great Volunteers

It can be tough to find great volunteers. Organizations need people dedicated to the mission with skills to donate and passion to spare. Just like one bad apple can spoil the bunch, a bad volunteer can really bring down the atmosphere of the whole organization. Video interviewing is lending a help hand to organizations looking for dedicated volunteers.

For charitable organizations and nonprofits, it’s possible these passionate volunteers could become your next superstar employees. With often limited budgets, it makes sense to test out potential employees through volunteering before welcoming them into the family on a more permanent basis. Even if your organization is only looking for volunteers to help out these video interviews can help you find individuals excited about your cause and ready to jump in.

Both organizations and individuals benefit greatly from the act of volunteering. Organizations, some with limited budgets or social good in mind, get skilled workers willing to dedicate their experience and energy.

Volunteers, however, also receive great benefits from doing good. For instance, a recent study by the Wall Street Journal found individuals who volunteered actually felt less time-deprived, despite giving up more of their free time. Volunteering has also been gaining more traction on the hiring front. A few months back LinkedIn added a section to list volunteer activity. This makes sense since 41 percent of employers believe volunteer work is as important as paid work.

With unemployment hovering around 8.3 percent and more workers looking to pad their resumes with volunteer experience, it’s important for organizations to find volunteers who really care about the mission and are enthusiastic about helping. This is where video interviewing can really assist organizations strapped for time and cash to bring in only the best, more relevant volunteers.

Here are some ways video interviews are helping those who help:

No Time to Waste
Organizations who need volunteers the most are often the ones with the least amount of time to screen these potential do-gooders. With limited time and resources, these groups will most likely skimp on screening volunteers. Video interviews, however, can be worked into even the most packed  schedule.

If an organization or volunteer coordinator utilizes one-way video interviews, they can even avoid spending precious time on the phone with candidates who just don’t have the drive or experience to help. By posing questions and watching candidate’s answers on video, these time-strapped groups can more easily weed through applicants. This will allow them to spend their limited time speaking with only the best potential volunteers.

It’s All About Passion
The main reason to use video interviewing when looking for great volunteers is the fact that video interviews give a better idea of personality earlier in the process. When it comes to volunteering, a good volunteer has passion and dedication to the cause. If you’ve found a candidate with the skills you need but they lack this drive, you will have found a poor volunteer. For a volunteer, giving over time and energy is truly a labor of love. If this love shines through in the video interview, you know you’ll have a dedicated worker.

Bridging Vast Distances
Not every volunteer or volunteer opportunity is in your own backyard. Many individuals volunteer their time and energy using the online medium. This means you may never actually sit across from some of your volunteers. It’s still crucial, however, to make sure these virtual volunteers are a good fit. Using live video interviews, you can have a face-to-face chat with your potential volunteer and begin to build up essential rapport.

Video interviewing is really helping groups find great volunteers passionate about the mission statement and willing to help your cause. Instead of bringing on people just looking to pad their resumes, you will ensure your volunteers are truly dedicated to helping.

How would you use video interviewing to find great volunteers? Share in the comments!

SOURCES: Wall Street Journal, The New York TimesWashington Post
Courtesy of Flickr by Calotype46

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).