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Does Age Matter when Recruiting Volunteers?

Jun 19

Written by:
6/19/2012 10:28 AM  RssIcon

Yesterday, I posted a question on Twitter which I called the “Community Manager Question of the Day”where I asked “Does the age of your volunteers matter when your recruiting volunteers?” I know it is a loaded question because the ultimate answer is varied by a number of factors. Lets discuss the factors why I used age as a requirement and how I learned to change my ways.

When I hosted my clan gaming network called the Clan World Network (CWN), I had a requirement that everyone must be a minimum of 18 years old because they were a legal adult. But age does not mean maturity, it just means a greater accountability for actions. This accountability could come down to the credibility and liability that there are repercussions to willfully wrong actions. Not everyone has a genuine good reason for being a volunteer.

I had a process where prospective volunteers had to fill out a questionnaire, submit a copy of an id (if I suspected something), and endure a voice interview. While the process wasn't full proof, it did screen out a lot of bad apples. Listening to someone on voice while not perfect, you can judge a person's age range by the tone and other factors, etc.

Volunteer for Your CommunityI found out in the future many times some of these volunteers who I recruited were not even 18. I did not fire them or anything, They were some of the hungriest workers who did a lot for the communities they were supporting. They wanted an opportunity to contribute and they often spent the most time volunteering with the other members to resolve and promote the community. This position gave them an outlet to learn the new skills of customer service which they were able to thrive on.

I would also like to be clear that every new volunteer no matter the age had to earn promotions to different levels and tools based on time, feedback, and training.This gave all the volunteers something to strive for on a weekly basis.

Age will always be an important factor in recruiting, If it isn’t a legal one, then you should try to give someone a little bit younger a shot, You might be surprised the amount of effort and information they learn very quickly. Two my volunteers were given awards at their respective high schools for volunteer achievements which is one of the highlights of my life while operating the Clan World Network. This was before it was a requirement in high schools like it is today. Someone should want to do something not to be forced.

Let me ask the question again.

Does age have a factor when your recruiting volunteers for your online communities?


Copyright ©2012

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