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LinkedIn UK Launches Volunteer Marketplace

Today, LinkedIn are launching the ‘LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace’ in the UK.

LinkedIn have made sure that volunteering is a key aspect of their network, by allowing users to express interest in the ‘Volunteer Experience and Causes section’ and checking boxes to join ‘non-profit boards’ or ‘skills based volunteering’. People can also use the ‘Advanced Search’ tool to find people to work and volunteer for non profit charities.

Now LinkedIn are taking this concept even further. LinkedIn are going to put charities in touch with relevant LinkedIn members. This will allow non profit organisations to find skilled workers to help with global crisis including social, economic and environmental problems.

Available volunteering positions are going to be put up along side job postings, so people can explore these options and find them easily without having to endure difficulty whilst trying to locate them. This is included in the ‘job matching tool’ which will send postings to LinkedIn members who posses skills that are relevant for the positions available. These non profit charities will have the opportunity and ability to search for people with the skills they want and to post positions.

Ariel Eckstein, Managing Director for LinkedIn EMEA, explains that:

Talent is just as critical to the charity sector as it is for businesses. Aspirations need to be fulfilled and that talent needs to be connected with opportunity. This is done through the ‘LinkedIn For Good’ scheme which aims to create a positive impact on the world.

The Volunteer Marketplace was launched in the US a year ago and increased volunteering positions from 500 to more than 30,000, so the possibilities for the UK are very promising. LinkedIn is partnering with non profit volunteer support organisations including Reach Volunteering.  This skilled volunteering charity already helped to get 700 people into positions in 2014. LinkedIn is integrating with a number of charity sites so LinkedIn members can connect with those charities too.

In an interview with Alison Dorsey, Social Impact manager for LinkedIn, she explained the importance of the Volunteer Marketplace on LinkedIn:

I saw that support charities were struggling to recruit, so when I came to LinkedIn, we wanted to help charities identify volunteers and board members. People want to give their time and talent, now LinkedIn are giving them this opportunity.

The UK charity community is extremely active. 42% of hiring managers on LinkedIn consider skilled volunteering the same as work experience when considering a candidate. Volunteering is a great way to also develop new skills. People may want to switch into a new industry so will take on a volunteer project using a different skill set and then leverage that to move into a new industry.

We see the Volunteer Marketplace being popular with all demographics, especially millennials. Recently retired professionals and stay at home parents will also be large users of the new feature.

This will provide opportunity to increase the diversity and perspectives of a work place. If your employees are volunteering outside of the work place, they can bring what they learn into the work place and will produce more productive employees.

It is free to actually search for volunteers but there is a small fee for advertising volunteer postings, to make sure each posting is legitimate. The money required for postings is donated to non profit volunteering charities.

It is clear that the recruitment process is going to change for the better through the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace. Potential candidates are going to be able to gain valuable skills and experience whilst using their initial skills and experience to change the world. Connecting skilled LinkedIn users and charities is an extremely positive concept for both sides and will even impact the way hiring managers recruit and look at peoples experience in the future.

It is strongly recommended to get involved with this amazing and inspirational scheme to help yourself, charities and the people around you. Social media is showing to be a great tool to change the physical world around us for the better and is improving how we live our lives.

RELATED: How to Find Volunteers and Volunteering Roles on LinkedIn