Since absolute majority of employees for the festival will be hired as volunteers, this paper assesses recruitment process mostly in regard to them. However, even though recruitment, selection and training process of volunteers are much cheaper than paid workers, yet it is extremely difficult, not only to find them, but also to motivate them for volunteering. Lynch and Smith (2010) predicated that just as with paid staff, volunteers can be recruited through several methods as well.
One of them, which best suits the case of this national book festival, would be – using existing informal personal contacts or informal grapevine (word of mouth). Library of congress, where this national book festival will take place, could be one of the biggest sources of potential volunteers. Who else, if not library staff, will be more motivated to make this festival as successful as possible?
Herewith, this source of recruitment would be recommended as most reliable and relevant one to look for volunteers, as they would be familiar with the festival location and topic, qualified in that area and capable of helping attendees with all the concerns. Another possible source, with reference to Wagen (2007), for the book festival to look for volunteers would be Universities and colleges, which can provide students who are interested in a particular field, in this case – enthusiasm for reading, knowledge of wide range of authors and books.
Process of application should be made as simple as possible, for instance an opportunity to register online on official website of the library should be given. Representatives of the upcoming festival should participate in volunteer related fairs in universities and colleges and present this offer, as a great opportunity of taking first steps before coming to work into this industry. Considering, that majority staff of this national book festival will be volunteers, selection process directly becomes not as formal as for paid position staff.
However, each teams’ coordinators will be paid and therefore requirements for them will be higher. Ability to organize, take responsibility, leadership skills will be required for the candidates for these positions. Also public relations team will need more qualified and experienced candidates. Selection methods should likewise be more detailed and formal, including undertaken interviews and request of references.
Volunteers, on the other hand, should be selected in more informal way as suggested before, however accepting everybody who appliqui?? s isn’t the solution, as it will be counter- productive and have negative impact on other staff members (McCurley and Lynch ,1994 cited in Lynch and Smith, 2008, p. 85). Therefore interviews with candidates for volunteering should also be performed, at least for some team members’ positions, like communication control centre team or registration and ticketing team.
Besides, according to Lynch and Smith (2008), because of volunteers’ interviews informality, applicants don’t even realize they are being evaluated for the position. By the way, since one of recommended recruitment sources was library of congress, this simplifies the selection process, as candidates would be somebody from library staff or their recommended people. Therefore this source of applicants is much more reliable than others and doesn’t need a complicated selection process and herewith it simplifies one of the procedures of human resource management.
Talking about requirements for volunteers, the reason that they won’t be paid, does not mean that human resource manager of national book festival won’t be looking for particular skills of applicants. Considering the fact that this book festival is taking place just for one day and volunteers won’t be hired long before the actual day of the festival, therefore there will be not much time to get familiarized with the festival settings and participants. Seeing that as a challenge, candidates should be required to be flexible, be capable of handling uncertainty and have good communication skills.
All book festival employees should receive a welcome letter from managers of the festival, with a short introduction to the festival, with its main purpose and main facts to form a concept about overcoming event. All essential information regarding the volunteer work should be covered, as for instance – work timetable, break time and length and etc. In order to save some time and money, just team coordinators should be trained one day before the book festival at the actual location of the event.
Each team supervisor should be introduced to main goals and objectives of his team and best ways of achieving it quick and efficiently. For example waste management team should be aware of all the directions regarding the placement of containers for waste whereas information team have to be trained to be able to give all the required information for visitors or festival participants (authors) regarding the festival and all related questions. Once team coordinators will be trained, their task will be to manage their team work during the actual day of the book festival.