FAQs About the Volunteer Appointment Process

The Society is fortunate to have dedicated and committed members with an interest in sharing their expertise and time to support its strategic initiatives. Regrettably, more members are interested in volunteering than there are positions available. The purpose of these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is to assist you in understanding how positions are assigned and the process for applying to them.

Select from the following categories:

Getting Involved | Selection Process and Timeline | Term of Service | Committee Service

Getting Involved

How does one enter the Contributor Track?
The Society’s limited number of committee positions are assigned in the spring; however, ad hoc opportunities (e.g., working groups, task forces) may become available at any time for those interested in becoming involved as a volunteer.

A variety of considerations are given to assigning members to the Contributor Track, including the needs of the position, diversity, expertise, conflicts of interest, and the competencies and skills being sought. In addition, the following information is maintained in the membership database and reviewed for those individuals being considered for volunteer assignments:

  • The Volunteer Interest Form, which can be updated throughout the year
  • Committee Interest Form (for interest specific to committee assignments – available October – November)
  • Feedback from leadership and staff (for those with HRS volunteer experience)
  • Recommendations from members and staff
  • Past and present involvement within the Society

How does one progress to the Leadership Track?
While some members may prefer to remain in the Contributor Track, others may wish to progress to the Leadership Track by becoming a Chair or a Board member. The skills and behaviors expected for these roles are included in each job description and are defined within the Volunteer Competency Framework. Not all skills and behaviors are expected or required upon entering the leadership track, but should be developed as one serves in these leadership positions. Other factors are also considered in making assignments to the leadership track, including succession planning, performance, expertise, and diversity.

Are volunteer positions available throughout the year?
While Board and committee positions are assigned at designated times for the May – April term, ad hoc volunteer assignments, such as working groups or task forces may arise throughout the year.

When can I submit my interest in volunteering?
The Call for Volunteers, in which available positions are announced, will be available in the fall. The Volunteer Interest Form, which allows you to update your interests at any time, is available on your member profile.

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Selection Process and Timeline

How long does the assignment process take?
The committee appointment process takes about six months, beginning with the Call for Volunteers in the fall, and ending with new appointments beginning in May.

Who makes the assignments?
The President-Elect is granted the authority by the Board to make committee appointments, with consultation from the President, Chief Executive Officer, sitting and incoming Chairs, and Staff Liaisons.

Ad hoc assignments may be made by the President, Board, or a committee with the President’s approval. Board members and officers are voted in by the voting members, after Board approval of the Nominations Subcommittee’s recommendations.

How are volunteers selected?
Careful consideration is given to the selection process, taking into account a number of contributing factors. Committee and subcommittee appointments are distributed as equitably as possible, to ensure no single volunteer holds too many positions, and that opportunities for volunteer engagement and development are maximized.

Appointments are made based primarily on the needs of the position, along with the member’s expertise, competencies and skills, performance, and prior involvement in the Society. Wherever possible, appointments reflect a diverse mix of backgrounds, occupations, demographics (geography, ethnicity, gender), and interpersonal communication and problem solving styles.

Are interest forms kept beyond the year in which they are submitted?
Yes, committee preferences will be retained, yet members will have the opportunity to update their preferences each fall. In addition, general, non-committee-specific interests are maintained on the Volunteer Interest Form of each member’s HRS profile and can be updated at any time. The Volunteer Interest Form will be available soon.

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Term of Service

When does a term of service begin and end?
While ad hoc positions will vary in term length, most committee terms last for one year with eligibility for appointment for two additional consecutive one-year terms. Reappointment is not automatic, as the committee make up is carefully reviewed annually to ensure the needs of the committee continue to be met.

Are only HRS members allowed to volunteer?
While preference is given to HRS members, experience or expertise outside of the membership may be beneficial to certain assignments. In such cases, non-member volunteers will be considered.

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Committee Service

What is expected of committee members?
All committee members are expected to:

What is the expectation for committee meeting attendance?
While it is understood that it may not be possible to attend all committee meetings, if circumstances prevent one from contributing as expected, the member should discuss his/her personal situation with the Chair as appropriate.

Is additional guidance provided to new members to help them perform their duties?
The committee chair will hold a brief orientation as part of the first committee meeting or separately for new committee members, to include anything unique about the committee and its operations. In addition, the staff liaison will orient new members to the history, responsibilities, and expectations of the committee.

What if I have additional questions about the process?
Ask a colleague who serves in a leadership position as they should be familiar with the process. All Committee Chairs and Board members are listed on the HRS website. Or you are welcome to contact Diana Schmidt Director of Governance and Board Relations at dschmidt@hrsonline.org.

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