By Daniel Hunter

Employers aren’t picking up on potential skills and talents by failing to consider job candidates’ volunteering and social action experience during the recruitment process, according to a joint report from the CIPD and #iwill campaign. Important skills such as teamwork, communication and leadership are often nurtured via volunteer work, so it would serve the best interests of both the employer and the candidate to delve into the potential employee’s volunteering history.

The report is based on a recent CIPD survey which found that 67 per cent of employers do indeed report that entry-level candidates who have a history in social action experience demonstrate more employable skills. However, only thirty-one per cent of employers ask about said history during interviews.

The report argues that integrating social action into the recruit process will reveal a larger pool of talented candidates who may not be otherwise seen.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD says: “A key challenge for recruiters is that candidates often fail to highlight their social action experience, unless given the opportunity to do so, as many still regard traditional work experience as being more important to employers. With the difficulties that many young people also face in terms of securing good quality work experience, it is clear that social action has a huge role to play in terms of skills development. By failing to uncover this experience during the recruitment stage, employers could be missing out on enthusiastic individuals who have precisely the types of employability skills organisations tell us they need and struggle to find.”