[Top Host] How Piratas da Praia aligns expectations with its volunteers

Check the article that Luigi, from Piratas da Praia hostel (and Top Host at Worldpackers!), wrote about how to align expectations with its future volunteers.


My name is Luigi and I’m a Pirate-Host at Piratas da Praia Hostel CoWorking, Recife. For some time now I’ve been working out how to best welcome our worldpackers, how to use their skills in the best way for the hostel, how to align expectations, etc.

Well, the system isn’t perfect and needs improvement, but I’ll share it here in case it’s useful for other hosts. I think that in this way, we can improve how we use the skills of our worldpackers in general. Let’s go!

The first thing I consider to be essential is to use the tools available to us on the Worldpackers platform to make a more accurate selection! To do this, it’s important to have a good description of the job, create filters, add questions to the pre-application questionnaire, etc. Once the profile has been configured on the platform, we proceed to selecting from the travelers who applied.

Selection Process

In the selection process, we make it clear what we expect of each volunteer. For some tasks (like web developer, photos and videos), we ask for a portfolio and that they bring ALL the necessary materials: equipment, notebooks or laptops, etc. We’ve already had a case where a volunteer stopped their experience because they didn’t have the proper equipment and software.

As for the people who apply for the night shift, we go through the first contact and the reception tasks in complete detail and explaining our security system. At this time, we get pretty straight to the point and ask:

  • You are going to have to stay awake the whole night. There will not be time to sleep. Do you agree?
  • You will be the person responsible for everyone’s safety during the night. Do you think you can handle the responsibility?

Post Selection

After selecting the volunteer, we get the final details straight. This practice helps us to considerably lower the amount of unnecessary questions that volunteers have as well as no-shows.

  1. We ask for a copy of his or her plane/bus ticket at least one month in advance
  2. We send a welcome message to their chat inbox and in this text is various information about: how to get to the hostel, who they should look for when they get there, house rules, etc. Check out the example here.

The worldpacker’s first day

When the worldpacker arrives, I have a conversation with them, explaining ALL the rules of the house and right then we create a volunteer plan together. Where they will have information about days and work schedules, tasks to be developed, etc. From there they are trained or instructed and start their tasks.

A “xêro” (kiss) from Recife! :)

It's your turn now: do you have any tips to share with the community? Leave a comment! =)

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