Volunteer Application, Selection, and Onboarding Process

With the goal of providing a consistent and transparent process for ACUI volunteer opportunities that have a defined position description and term length, below is an overview of the steps involved in the application, selection, and onboarding processes for those seeking to get involved with the Association.

Application Process

  1. Following the calendar of set deadlines for positions, prepare to open the application for submissions:
    • Set goals for how many applicants.
    • Include accurate term, qualifications, financial support, etc.
    • Include meeting requirements (as specific as possible for the position).
     
  2. Open the application period for approximately 4–6 weeks through the ACUI website:
    • Position description and application is available online.
    • Communication is sent to membership about opportunity.
    • Committee chairs, staff liaisons, Leadership Team members, and other volunteers are charged with recruiting/nominating a diverse pool of candidates.
     
  3. As candidates submit applications:
    • Check if the applicant is currently serving on the Leadership Team; if so, the Central Office staff liaison calls applicant to discuss conflicts or overlap in responsibilities and determine whether or not to move the applicant on to the selection process or withdraw the application.
    • Check if the applicant is currently serving on an international-level program team or task force; if so, the volunteer chairperson of that team calls applicant to discuss conflicts or overlap in responsibilities and determine whether or not to move the applicant on to the selection process or withdraw the application.
    • Confirm that the applicant available for all scheduled meetings (as required for the position); if not, withdraw the application or determine other potential arrangements.
    • Confirm that the applicant submitted a signed institutional support form (if required for the position); if not, withdraw the application or determine other potential arrangements.
     
  4. Upon the application deadline, determine whether there are sufficient applications for the opportunity; if not, consider reopening the application process with additional recruitment. 

Selection Process

A majority of ACUI volunteer opportunities with defined position descriptions and term lengths are selected positions, and should go through these steps. The process for elected positions is guided by the ACUI Constitution and Bylaws and the ACUI Election General Policies and Procedures.

  1. Selection committee is identified:
    • At least three individuals are required for a selection committee, which should consist of:
      1. Related volunteers
        • For teams, the chair/leader/director of the team for which the candidates are applying
        • For positions, a volunteer with previous experience/knowledge with that position (but not currently serving in the role)
      2. A member of the Volunteer Development Team and/or a Regional Inclusivity Coordinator
      3. The facilitator of the selection process (i.e., Central Office staff liaison, or Regional Volunteer Coordinator)
    • Optional additions to the selection committee can be involved in the process, such as:
      • An additional individual meeting the criteria above
      • A volunteer previously serving on team for the candidate is applying, or with volunteer experience closely tied to the position/team (e.g., Research Task Force member selecting the Research Coordinator)
      • A member with significant experience related to the work of the position (e.g., an I-LEAD® attendee selecting the I-LEAD® program team leader)
     
  2. The selection committee should review the overall candidate pool with the selection committee, considering the following:
    • Are there sufficient applications to move forward with the selection process? Is the applicant pool diverse?
    • What role will an individual’s volunteer record play in the selection process? Is input needed about past performance? Does the number of consecutive volunteer positions/terms matter?
     
  3. Then, the selection process occurs:
    • All members of the selection committee are provided with the following:
      1. Timeline
      2. Responsibilities/qualities required for the position
      3. Selection process
    • All members of the selection committee review all application materials received for all candidates in the applicant pool.
    • The committee shall determine whether phone interviews are required.
      1. All qualified candidates will be interviewed; no applicants should be automatically selected; it is acceptable to not conduct interviews for unqualified candidates
      2. All candidates participating in a phone interview should be:
        • Allotted the same amount of time
        • Asked a standard set of questions
        • Provided with a verbal overview of the position and its term/qualification requirements
        • Provided the opportunity to ask question(s) to the committee
    • All members of the selection committee participate in a decision-making conference call:
      1. Determine which candidate(s) they are recommending to be selected
        • For Leadership Team positions, recommendations are to be submitted to the Executive Director, who will submit it to the Board of Trustees, for official appointment one week in advance of their regularly scheduled phone calls.
        • For Regional Leadership Team positions, recommendations are to be submitted to the Regional Director, who will make the final decisions.
        • For other program teams or task forces, recommendations are to be made to the volunteer chairperson or staff advisor of that team for official selection.
      2. Have intentional conversations articulating, for all candidates, why they are (or are not) being selected.
      3. Acknowledge that time is needed to contact all candidates, and that they should not communicate publicly or privately with anyone about the process.
    • Call at least one reference listed on the application materials to discuss the selected candidate’s performance and qualifications for the position.
     

Notifications to Candidates

  1. Once a volunteers are selected or elected to serve in a position, all candidates are contacted:
    • For elected positions, the Elections Committee Chairperson calls all candidates.
    • For a Leadership Team position, the Central Office staff liaison calls all candidates.
    • For Regional Leadership Team positions, the Regional Director and Regional Volunteer Coordinator work together to call all candidates.
    • For other program teams or task forces, the volunteer chairperson or staff advisor of that team calls all candidates.
       
  2. For the candidate(s) that have been selected/elected:
    • Congratulate candidate
    • Confirm that the candidate accepts
    • Confirm next steps, including:
      1. Volunteer agreement/institutional support form
      2. Training process
      3. Meeting schedule
      4. Other position-specific items
    • Acknowledge that time is needed to contact all candidates, and that he/she will be notified when it is information that can be shared publicly
     
  3. For the candidate(s) who were not selected/elected:
    • Thank them for applying
    • Offer to provide appropriate and constructive feedback on improving their application for future opportunities; if requested:
      1. Focus the conversation on a specific example or two, on reasons such as: the skills/interests you presented to the committee weren’t a match for the position; the team needs an overall set of skills/experiences and we had many candidates offering similar talents; the committee did not think you could provide the same level of time commitment as other candidates; the quality of your application/interview was not competitive because [e.g., errors, lack of understanding/preparation]; etc.
      2. Avoid generic responses such as: it was not your time; you did not fit into the team; it was competitive; you didn’t have the right experience; etc. 
    • Share other related volunteer opportunities.
     
  4. To make the selection/election official, the Central Office staff liaison should:
    • Update the individual’s member profile with the position and term dates.
    • Ensure access to relevant resources/private communities of practice.
    • Include an announcement of the new volunteer in an upcoming communication, as appropriate (e.g., Leadership Team Update, e-communication, Bulletin/Commons).
     

Onboarding Process

Once all candidates are notified, the training and support process for new volunteers can begin. This includes: 

  1. An Association volunteer orientation program is coordinated by the Volunteer Development Team
  2. Position-specific training is coordinated by an appropriate combination of:
    • The volunteer chairperson or convener of the team
    • The Central Office staff liaison to the position/team
    • The individual previously serving in the position, if relevant

Any questions related to these processes can be directed to the chair or staff liaison to the Volunteer Development Team.

Updated March 9, 2016