Volunteer Management Handbook, Chapter 8 – Volunteer Recruitment: Competency-Competence Pathways


“Volunteers are the lifeblood of a volunteer-based organization. While the organization mission, vision, and values are the backbone, the staff, the skeletal system, the clients, the organs of the body, and the community, the skin, it is the lifeblood-sharing efforts of the volunteers that keep the body nourished and vibrant,” Hobbs emphasizes.

“Recruiting or deciding on competent volunteers has become a science and an art. It is a science when the logical progression of steps and associated checks and balances are used to decide and confirm if the potential and competent volunteer is to move forward. Equally important are the creative, subjective insights VRMs use to guide their final decisions about confirming and forwarding competent volunteers into the organization.”

Following the requisite assessment, program planning, and creation of position profiles aligned with the organization’s mission and purpose, recruitment is the next stage in the typical volunteer accession process: the addition of qualified volunteers to various programs. Recruiting these qualified volunteers will significantly influence the organization’s operational productivity and therefore its efforts to fulfill its mission.

Therefore, the tools and techniques used in managing the recruitment of competent volunteers are significant, the authors point out. These tools and techniques have advanced with the growing availability and stability of the Internet.

Hobbs explores and links the wise use of a software or Internet-enabled volunteer resources management system with competence validation. This complementarity offers VRMs a practical way to select, interview, and assign competent volunteers to move forward into the organization. Additional topics covered include the challenges facing volunteer recruitment and the implications for using a volunteer competency management system.


Dr. Stephen HobbsDr. Stephen Hobbs
Dr. Hobbs is the creator and master navigator for the WELLth Learning Network. His graduated work experience lists senior manager in non-profit and public organizations as well as CEO/CVO of three entrepreneurial companies.

He currently serves as an author and infopreneur, corporate instructor and guide, university facilitator and mentor, and national and international thought-note speaker. His practice focuses on manager-leader excellence, organizational culture, and organization mapping. Also, he shares what he learns with participants at The Banff Centre (Leadership Development) and PhD Education learners (in Training & Performance Improvement) at Capella University. His many books, eBooks, articles and social media platforms are available through his online company WELLthLearning.com.