To make a lasting impact, communities need long term volunteers.  This excellent CIPD report shows that recruits with a track record of social action have developed essential skills that give them a competitive edge.  It follows that employees that volunteer on a regular basis develop skills that are of value to the individual and the employer; companies find it hard to make this happen.  Team days make a big difference in our communities, but their hidden value is that they give everyone an opportunity to give volunteering a try.

Participation in social action, by which we mean practical action in the service of others that creates positive change, for example volunteering or fundraising activities, has risen up the political and social agenda in recent years.  The recent CIPD survey found that many employers recognise some of the key skills that can be developed as a result of participation in social action, with 67% reporting that entry-level candidates who have voluntary experience demonstrate more employability skills. The top three skills cited by respondents were teamwork (82%), communication (80%) and understanding the local community (45%).

However, despite these findings, very few employers reported that social action or volunteering experience was asked about during the recruitment process. Less than one fifth (16%) of employers reported that they asked about volunteering at the application stage and only a third (33%) asked about it at interview stage. As a result, many employers will be failing to pick up on candidates with these valuable skills and experience and risk missing out on key talent.

The guide was produced jointly by the CIPD and Step Up To Serve, the national charity that co-ordinates the #iwill campaign that encourages young people up to the age of 25 to get involved in volunteering, both to make a contribution, but also to develop essential employability skills.  The guide not only outlines why employers should integrate social action into their entry-level recruitment processes, including highlighting some of the key business benefits, but also explains how it can be done. Drawing from in-depth interviews with 11 case study organisations the guide brings together a range of practical tips from employers, many of whom we are proud to be working with. These are designed to cater to organisations of any size, from starting the journey of embedding social action into recruitment to completely revolutionising recruitment practices.

View the report here: CIPD Social Action Report

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