I am Renata, the manager of Hostel Alice and I’m responsible for recruiting and training volunteers. For me, it is very important to select the right volunteer that will match our hostel vibe. It definitely makes training easier and guarantees an awesome experience. And that’s something we used to have a problem with. But we’ve learned through our past experiences and we've now come up with the following strategies to find volunteers who are the best fit for our place.
Figure out what kind of person you are looking for
Create a specific position for different types of people. For example, we have 3 positions for reception, but we need to have a responsible person for the morning shift and an outgoing one for the afternoon, so we've created two different positions, for the same job. It does make a difference.
After a while, you're gonna be able to see what type of people are applying to that position. And remember, you can always change it to ensure you attract the right profile.
Ask the right questions
We always try to get to know the volunteers before we accept them. Asking general questions does not always work for us. We like to know why they chose our city. Why our hostel? We prefer volunteers who have past traveling experiences, however, we are located in São Paulo -a big city - meaning many of these applicants are looking for a part-time job or to study a course. This is not great for us because we want people who are 100% committed to the hostel. So we came up a few questions to ensure they are looking to stick around.
Be very clear about what you offer and what you expect from the volunteer. Ask them if they're Ok with everything. I always explain to them how decisions are made in the hostel. I’ll go over the activities and check they understand the working hours and our flexibility around them. I try to tell them as much as I can so there are no surprises when they get here.