You are here: Home » How To Set Up An Alumni Foundation » Operations


So, your initiative is growing, and you need a team of individuals (human capital/assets) to support and help you with the work of your foundation/association/organisation. Depending on the resources you have You may look to take on volunteers (unpaid staff) or recruiting paid staff or a combination of both. Many successful initiatives depend on the service and commitment of volunteers as well as the labour of paid employees. The skills and talents of both types of workers are very important. Here are a few things for you to consider when looking for people to help support and grow your work.

The Process

Whether you are recruiting paid staff or volunteers there are certain things that you need to consider:

Have a clear job description of the person you want to join your organisation

A job description should contain information on the employee’s classification and status (e.g., regular/non-exempt/part-time or temporary/full-time/exempt, etc.), education and other requirements, as well as specific job duties. If the position is a volunteer role this should be clearly defined in the job description. If you do not have a clear idea of what employees are supposed to be doing, you will have a hard time hiring the right person

Advertise widely

It is important to ensure that you advertise widely to get a wide selection of candidates. Post your job posting on your website and social media platforms and email to networks. In Zimbabwe there are a number of free online platforms where the advert can be placed:

Prepare well-structured interviews

Create an evaluation scorecard that can be used to grade and compare the performance of candidates on a series of criteria.

When it is time to interview, it is a good idea to include other people in the process – this could include board members,especially if you are recruiting your initial team members.

In the interview, do not just rely on what is on the CV or focus on the technical skills of the candidate. Instead use behaviour-based interviewing techniques such as:

  • Inviting candidates to describe how they have handled specific challenges in previous positions. Past performance is one of the best predictors of future performance.
  • You can also present them with a scenario involving a difficult situation and ask them how they would handle it.
  • Ask about the candidates' interests, ambitions and priorities. If working for a big organisation with a big salary is their dream, they might have a hard time working for a small organisation/non-profit.

Always check the references

It is always safer to take the time to verify references. Reference checks remain one of the best sources of information about candidates. Also consider doing a bit of independent research by seeking out people who know or have worked with the candidate in the past. Make sure you document each step of the process and have solid, objective, evidenced-based reasons for deciding to hire someone or not.

So, you have found the ideal candidate what is next?