We have been receiving applications online for about three months now. I need to do some strategic forecasting regarding the number of online applications vs actual new volunteers. Can some of you "senior"online volgistics application users tell me your experiences?
My experience so far is that many apply and don't follow through. Far more than our previous way. Do any of you have creative ways of staying in contact and encouraging the applicant through the process to become a volunteer? Do you have Volgistics sending automatic reminders?
Any thoughts appreciated.
How were the interested parties getting your application before? Do you do an online orientation as well?
One of the things I do is as we bring in a new application, I add a date to the history screen called "Follow up-1 week after app" with a date a week away, and a notation of "To Do". I then have a set of filters I run every day and one of them is called "Today", which pulls the list of applicants that need to be contacted.
I think we've been using the on-line application for about three years now. Our bigger challenge is we do not control the website, so everytime marketing makes a change we have to update our instructions on telling people how to find it.
I don't think we've seen a major difference between paper and on-line processing in terms of drop-outs. It's still about 50% of those who apply actually interview and 50% of those who interview actually begin service. So handling on-line apps is much easier than all that paper.
We do not do orientation on-line, so the application is just a convenient way to handle and track the on-boarding of a new volunteer. They do get an automatic follow up when submitted, but that message says to call us if further contact doesn't happen within two week's time. Unfortunately, they typically expect a speedy reponse, but first thing we do is check their references before they get a call for an interview, so they may not hear from us if a reference contact is unresponsive.