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Survey: Why do people apply via the website instead of coming in?

April 2017


We are currently starting a programme of collecting evidence around why people choose to visit us in person rather than finding opportunities online. As a complement to this, we surveyed people who applied for opportunities online asking about why they chose online.

What we did

We emailed two groups of people inviting them to fill in online surveys.  The groups were:
  • A group of 373 who had applied through our site during December 2016 to March 2017
  • A group of 975 who had applied through our Do It account in 2016
We got 83 responses

What we found

Of the group who came via our own website, 31% knew visiting was an option while  69% did not. The group who came via Do It were 15% and 85% respectively. Overall this was 21% and 79%. It is understandable that those visiting a national website were less aware than those who visited our local site.

We asked the group who didn't know that visiting was an option "“Now you know that an office visit is possible... would you want to do that next time?" Notable responses were "Yes" 20%; "No - I am not available during office hours" 17%; "No - I live too far away" 8% and "No - I prefer going online" 46%

We also asked those who already knew about visiting why that had chosen online. 77% felt that applying online was easier.


The majority of online volunteers did not know that face to face contact is an option. Around 20% would consider face to face “next time”. There was strong enthusiasm for online access and for some, it was a necessity because of their location or working arrangements.

There would appear to be a significant missed “market” for interviews, largely because people don’t know about them but would use them if they did know.

While the numbers suggest we could get several hundred extra interviews a year, it’s not clear how we would make this happen. Already, one of the first things our website says to people is about face to face meetings. Perhaps by the time people have reached our site, it’s “too late” and they might as well go on to use the online facility while they are there.
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