The main goal of volunteer shadowing is to determine if a person can see themselves volunteering in a similar environment. The shadower follows the volunteer worker and observes their daily work for 2-3 hours.
There are many benefits for an organization in need of volunteers to implement volunteer shadowing. Volunteer shadowing is a great way for Volunteer Ottawa member agencies to recruit new volunteers. For example, last months we had 8 people shadowing our receptionist and 4 of them applied to be a receptionist. Volunteer shadowing also could be used as screening tool. Volunteer coordinator can get to know person during 2 hours of volunteer shadowing and determine if it is a good fit for their organization needs. Even if person will not volunteer at your organization after shadowing one of your volunteers, she/he most likely to share his/her experience with friends, colleges which will increase your agency profile in the community.
Volunteer shadowing also a great way to retain long-term volunteers by offering leadership role with supervision and training responsibilities.
Some of the benefits of volunteer shadowing for people interested in volunteering are:
- opportunity to try out volunteering before they apply and commit for certain period of time
- helps to narrow down area of interest and skills
- provides network opportunity for future volunteer openings
What people are saying about their experience as volunteer shadower at Volunteer Ottawa:
“It’s always good to learn new skills and have someone to show you skills that could open up job opportunities”
“I am going to college to be a law clerk – this helps be understand what I might be doing”
“It gives me the ability to understand the different duties of a task before undertaking it”
“A great way to spend 2 hours”
“It’s a good way to see what the job entails”
“Great idea for giving people an experience as a receptionist”