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8/21/2013 - Volunteering often paves pathway to employment, study confirms

By volunteering, job-seekers may find it easier to secure employment.

While many people are still struggling to find employment, business owners are having a hard time of their own finding the right person for posted positions.  In order to help fill them easier, business owners may want to consider opening an alternative volunteer position to see how prospective workers would perform on a voluntary basis. Doing so may serve as boon not only for entrepreneurs, but those hoping to land a full-time job.

According to a recent report, individuals who are unemployed have about a 27% higher likelihood of landing a job by volunteering versus those who don't offer their services without pay.

Wendy Spencer, CEO for the organization that performed the analysis, the Corporation for National and Community Services, noted that this finding likely doesn't come as a surprise for those who make themselves available knowing that they won't be compensated initially.

"Many of us in the volunteer sector have long felt volunteering gives a boost to those looking for work, but we've never had solid research to back it up," said Spencer. "This report provides a definitive answer - volunteers are more likely to find work than non-volunteers. Volunteering can help job seekers develop skills and expand professional contacts, creating a positive impression that can make a big difference in a competitive job market."

Christopher Spera, director of evaluation and research at CNCS, added that volunteering provides job seekers with pathways that they likely wouldn't be able to secure by going about the traditional route of employment-seeking as offering one's services increases their ability to network.

Naturally, business owners benefit as well by being able to get tasks accomplished without having to devote financial resources in the early going. However, while there are benefits, its important to be wary of accidents that take place wherein volunteers injure themselves while performing a certain task. Company managers may want to reach out to the provider of their business owners' insurance policy in order to determine how coverage works in these situations.

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