Volunteering. What springs to mind? For most of us, the image will be of serving soup, leading a youth group, coaching a sports team, perhaps picking up litter. But there is so much more scope to modern volunteering.
Organisations today need people with the relevant skills for 2020. This could be someone maintaining social media, offering some creative design skills, helping code a website. Today’s volunteers are not only manual labourers, but back office staff with many strings to their bow.
So, how can you appeal to those people able to offer the diverse range of skills you are looking for, and without paying to promote these roles? The answer is social media – but using it effectively can be a challenge.
Here are some tips on getting the best from your efforts:
1. Hashtag it
To broaden your reach, tap into hashtags. Think practically about what your targeted volunteer will be searching. This could be location – remember, abbreviations are key. For a London based role, it might be #LDN #Harrow #Volunteering. Reading uses #RDGUK. Do a quick search on the location in social media and see which hashtags are being used.
You also want to hashtag keywords. It could be #marketing #volunteers #nonprofit #community. It might be a sector – for example #legalvolunteers #probono. The best option is a combination of all of these, to really broaden your reach. For every hashtag you use (especially if it is well chosen), you are increasing the chance someone will stumble across your post in their job search.
Consider using Hashtagify – it’s free to use and helps map out the most relevant hashtags for you.
2. Don’t let formatting slip
Nothing is going to turn a volunteer off like reading through a post on social media, only for it to have clearly been copied and pasted direct from the original post on a different site.
If the formatting is poor, if the post is hard to read on a mobile or tablet, if there is no clear place to apply, you are deterring potential volunteers from applying.
3. Condense your social media copy
Different platforms will need different adjustments. For Twitter, a character limit will force you to choose select words to drive interest in your opportunity. Make them count! Include the type of role, location, and any key skills. The volunteer wants to know the essential details before they click through to apply.
4. Automation is your friend
If you’re lucky enough to have an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), advertising volunteering posts on social media is easy. With Hireserve ATS, for example, it’s all programmed into the portal and automated. You’re able to choose whether to automatically share every vacancy as it goes live to your chosen social media platforms or post roles on a case by case basis.
The post will automatically contain all the relevant information, including a link back to your purpose-built volunteers site for them to apply. A nice and easy time-saver.
5. Be realistic about what social media can do alone
For some skill sets, social media will be a winning ticket. For others, this is not going to be as useful. If you’re recruiting in the IT or technology sector, the volunteers you want to reach will usually have a good grasp of where to search out opportunities and how to apply for them.
If you’re looking to attract someone for a more manual post who may have limited IT skills, it isn’t going to be the most useful tactic. Keep an open mind as to how you combine social media with other methods to target different volunteers.
This blog was contributed by Leah Lemm-Serruya, Senior Marketing Executive, Hireserve. To find out more about Hireserve ATS, visit their website here.