Healthcare News & Insights

3 keys to recruit & keep the best volunteers for your hospital

Many hospitals rely on volunteers to augment the care clinicians provide to patients. But just like with paid positions, it can be difficult to recruit and retain good, reliable people. That’s why hospitals should put as much effort into finding and keeping volunteers as they do to fill other roles. 

Launching a marketing campaign to attract volunteers takes time and requires extra resources, but the work will pay off through finding reliable people.

Per an article in Forbes, here are three steps you should take to bolster recruitment for your facility’s volunteer program:

  1. Improve the volunteer experience. Before you can bring on new volunteers, you have to make sure that current volunteers are enjoying what they do for your hospital. If you’re having trouble keeping people around, it’s important to find out why they’re dissatisfied. You may want to survey current and former volunteers about their experience to pinpoint the biggest issues. It could also be helpful to conduct exit interviews for volunteers when they leave, asking them about their pain points. Then you can take steps to address their specific problems so you can improve volunteer retention. According to the Forbes article, common complaints among hospital volunteers are similar to those experienced by burned-out employees: feeling disengaged from decisions that affect their roles, underappreciated for their work and trapped in roles where they have little autonomy or responsibility.
  2. Highlight wellness benefits. Volunteer programs typically focus on the good things volunteers do for others. However, to really convince volunteers to stick around, it’s smart to highlight all the personal benefits volunteers can receive from the work they do. Volunteering can improve people’s moods, and give them a sense of connection and support, along with a greater sense of purpose. It even improves people’s physical health – people who volunteer have better heart health and lower mortality rates than those who don’t. Selling these benefits could inspire former patients to volunteer with existing ones as part of their recovery process post-discharge.
  3. Keep recruiting close to home. People who are familiar with your hospital, whether they’re related to a former patient or acquainted with someone on staff, are most likely to be interested in volunteering. So when creating marketing materials, keep them in mind. Let current volunteers tell their stories about their work – filming them on video is an excellent medium to get the word out. Post these videos on a website that’s specifically designed to recruit volunteers – or on your hospital’s social media pages. Also consider sponsored ads on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to expand your reach to those who don’t follow your facility online.

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