A member in the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook asked:
How many of you have volunteers helping in your office with day to day task? How did you acquire their help? Newspaper ad, FB, etc.?
As a 1 person office I am finding I’m sinking and need a little relief however, no money in the budget for help. ANY suggestion are appreciated.
The group had a lot of great suggestions including using:
- A local outplacement agency.
- College interns (just make sure you register your program with the school so that the interns can receive credit for their work).
- A local high school (some have work programs).
- The local circuit court. Many people are assigned community hours by the court.
- The local senior center. Many active adults are looking for a way to stay busy.
- Your members. Ask around. Sometimes they have teenagers or friends looking to fill some time.
- The Goodwill Ambassador program.
My favorite suggestion came from Beth Bridges of the Clovis Chamber. She said that when people come to your chamber for help in their job search to tell them you’re looking for volunteers. This gives them an opportunity to network with local businesses and add additional skills to their resumes, while it gives you a better understanding of the kind of employees they would be. This may also help them get a recommendation from you later on.
Don’t forget the Interwebs. Placing a call for a Rock Star of a Worker might yield some interesting opportunities.
Where ever you find your interns or volunteers, one of the wonderful things about the chamber is the varied experiences they can receive while working with you. While the administrative work is the easiest to hand off and most needed, if you find someone who has extraordinary communication talents, for example, use them on your chamber social media profiles or newsletter. Don’t be afraid to stretch the work you give them. Challenge them as you would an employee. Assess their strengths. Just because you don’t have the budget today for a full-time employee, doesn’t mean you won’t have the budget next year. And if you don’t, one of your chamber members will be happy to have them on your recommendation.
Guest post by Christina Green
Image via Flickr by Don Solo
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