Posted 1 month ago
I've just had a conversation with one of my best volunteers who's had yet another rejection when applying for a paid role in our sector. At the moment, we're still recovering from covid affecting our work but another charity in our niche wants to do what we do, but pay someone instead of using volunteers. So I agreed to be a referee and all was going well until this morning.
My volunteer had a zoom interview where the charity were asking question after question about his work for us, and in trying to impress explained what he did. But without giving anything away so he said where they could use his ideas, data and policy work.
He didn't get the role and his feedback was that he had great experience in this niche area but it wasn't the experience they sought. He asked for clarification to be informed that he'd never been paid for this and as such, he had no paid experience in this niche area.
I've seen his CV and it's excellent, he doesn't hide the fact that his experience with this is all voluntary. So if paid experience was a must have rather than a nice to have, why did they interview him in the first place?
He feels like he's let the charity down, because this other charity do have a bit of a reputation for gatekeeping on glassdoor. I've told him he didn't let anyone down but this isn't the first time during covid recovery that a volunteer I know is looking to move into a paid role, only to be told this. And in further feedback, asked if they wouldn't mind doing some volunteering in a shop or near the checkout tills.
I'm certain my volunteers aren't unique in their experiences, even in my charity's niche sector.