New York — July 31
According to a new survey from Deloitte, human resources executives agree that skills-based volunteering enhances the job prospects for graduating college seniors and returning military veterans. Yet, despite challenging economic times, less than half of the college students (46 percent) and military personnel (48 percent) surveyed think of volunteering at a nonprofit as a way to develop skills and gain the experience needed to land a future job.
The 2013 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey polled HR executives, college seniors and military veterans.
According to the HR executives surveyed:
• When evaluating a job candidate, experience gained through skilled volunteering would be taken into account (81 percent).
• Skilled volunteer experience makes a job candidate more desirable (76 percent).
• Skilled volunteer experience makes a college graduate more desirable (81 percent).
• Skilled volunteer experience makes a serviceman more desirable (78 percent).
With unemployment still high, findings from the study are particularly pertinent to the population that was surveyed. This includes recent college graduates who are unemployed, underemployed and may be carrying college-related debt, as well as unemployed post 9/11 veterans, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among those in the 20-24 age range.
“It is clear that the skills and experience gained through volunteering offer a competitive edge,” said Evan Hochberg, national director, community engagement, Deloitte Services LP. “However, when more than half of college grads and returning veterans don’t consider volunteering to improve their employability, there is work to be done to help them see the upside of volunteer bridging as a viable job search option.”
The survey also confirmed that volunteerism — both traditional and skilled — is encouraged at many organizations through corporate citizenship programs. Responses indicate that most HR executives believe volunteering is beneficial for their employees (65 percent), and contributes toward a positive reputation (88 percent). From an internal standpoint, slightly more than half of the HR executives surveyed (52 percent) say volunteerism is an important element of their organization’s culture.