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You’d expect for any CV to include details of previous employment, but in cases where candidates have referenced voluntary experience, how seriously should this be taken by recruiters?
In a time when most sectors will have experienced some sort of uncertainty, many people will have taken up voluntary positions in order to simply keep busy or learn new skills to broaden their horizons.
The fact is that valuable experience will have been gained from voluntary work, particularly in the care industry. Many placements will include exposure to tasks such as fundraising and campaigning, allowing volunteers to learn useful skills. Such voluntary work may also have given people access to general life skills whilst testing existing teamwork, communications and leadership understandings.
It would be all too easy for employers to simply overlook voluntary experience, yet might they actually be missing out on a whole pool of talented individuals by doing so? Where someone has taken it upon themselves to make the most of their time by investing back into the community, it shows something about the person themselves. It can also serve as a good example to younger people about ways to go about gaining relevant experience. Actual work, whether in a paid or voluntary setting, also gives individuals something other than simply qualifications to refer back to. Many businesses these days are fully aware of their social responsibilities, so for someone to show this form of awareness, should fit in well with their renewed sense of consciousness.
From an employer’s point of view, having staff with wide ranging skills can prove extremely advantageous. Many businesses now have to be conducive to change and ready to diversify in order to survive. Employing people with the ability to move between disciplines and emerge with enhanced and new skills fits in well in modern times. It also helps to prove and ensure that employers remain progressive and forward thinking. Talent and potential can present themselves in very different ways and at differing stages of people’s lives, meaning that this is applicable to workers of all ages and experience.
Indeed, rather than waiting to be informed of such experience perhaps employers should actively enquire after such experience and view it as something extra to be placed in the ‘positives’ column. Any bridge that can be made between a company and its community has to be positive and the added skills that are usually evident as a result suggests that evidence of social or voluntary action should be integrated more widely into any organisation’s people development and resourcing strategy.
If you are an employer looking for staff or a candidate seeking job opportunities then Safehands Recruitment can help you. We specialise in supplying staff into Health and Social Care environments.
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