If your applicant has done volunteer work, it can tell us quite a bit about them. So, if it’s not on their résumé, it’s worth checking into.
What can volunteer work reveal about a candidate?
First a fast disclaimer: this is not going to be the case for every one who has volunteered, but for the vast majority of volunteers, I believe it can tell you the following:
- They have a very human side to them.
- They are not “all about the money.”
- Compassion means something to them.
- They will tend to be more of a team player.
- They likely get along very well with others. If their “people skills” are weak, they likely consider it important to improve them.
If volunteer work isn’t indicated on the résumé, feel free to ask.
Dig a little and find out:
- How much volunteering they’ve done?
- How long were the projects?
- Did they actively seek volunteer work?
- What did volunteering do for them?
Again, I realize one can’t generalize about all volunteers, but there are certain human qualities that one can safely attribute to those who contribute in this way.
If you’re down to two candidates that are close to equal in many ways and one has considerable volunteer work in their background, that’d be a very strong factor for me.
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