Schools, recreation programs, museums, and other non-profits depend on volunteers' dedication and hard work to operate smoothly. You need to be able to rely on your volunteers, especially those who perform many of the same duties that paid staff do.
You want volunteers who will help maintain cost efficiency and won’t add to your liability risk. That’s why using a quality volunteer background check service is in your best interest. We’ll discuss how to conduct quality screenings and what to do if you get worrying background check results.
Tips for Obtaining Quality Volunteer Background Check Services
You want to keep your staff, customers, and other stakeholders safe. If the people you serve include children and patients, a criminal record search becomes even more important. A volunteer background check should include the following data sources:
- Address and name history trace
- Criminal database search
- County court criminal search
- Sex offender registry search
When researching volunteer background check services, be wary of providers offering access to “national” or “instant” database screenings and other bogus services. Also, make sure you’re taking the following steps:
Work with a Provider with Extensive Experience in Volunteer Background Screening
Volunteer screening can be just as time-consuming and complex as background checks for paid employees, if not more. Volunteers often work schedules that are flexible, seasonal, or across different locations. Given these nuances, volunteer background check services should consider these and other factors to ensure accuracy and efficiency in the screening process.
Enlisting volunteers also requires knowledge of several laws, including the National Child Protection Act (NCPA), the Volunteers for Children Act (VCA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). It’s wise to check your state’s laws regarding volunteers who work with children.
These and other regulations protect your organization and the people you interact with. Therefore, finding the best background check service possible is crucial so that you don’t put your organization at odds with the law.
Quality service providers understand that the cost of screenings can seem discouraging to some organizations. It’s a good idea to find a company offering a comprehensive bundle of searches for one price point. Ensure your provider is upfront about all costs so that you won’t be hit with any surprises.
Have Screening Technology That Streamlines the Process
Volunteer screening can be cumbersome, time-consuming, and open to possible errors, no matter how many or what kinds of volunteers you recruit. However, the right technology can take the guesswork out of background checks and save you time for doing other things.
The best volunteer background check services provide innovative platforms that make the process more streamlined and user-friendly for recruiters and prospective volunteers. On these platforms, you can request the data you need and get detailed results quickly. Also, recruits can submit their information and check the status of their applications. They can even submit payment for their screening.
Know What To Do if a Volunteer “Fails” a Background Check
Not all prospective volunteers will pass their background screenings. They might “fail” because of a clerical mistake, or perhaps their search histories turn up one or more of the following:
- Criminal record
- Positive drug test
- Poor credit history
- False credentials
- Poor references
When a promising volunteer fails a background check, it can be disappointing. You might not know what steps to take when this happens. Remember not to make any hasty decisions based on the result. Check if your organization has procedures for handling this kind of situation.
Based on FCRA adverse action requirements, you must give the volunteer ample time to refute the result. They might provide additional information or context, which could inform your decision to accept them anyway or bar them from volunteering in your organization. Avoiding rash judgments helps you “screen with a conscience,” meaning you don’t make decisions based on misperceptions or inaccurate information.
Partnering With BIB on Your Volunteer Background Screening
At BIB, we understand how vital volunteers are to schools, recreation centers, and other non-profits. You want to be fair in your recruiting but must also protect your people and property from liability and harm.
Since 1995, we have helped organizations streamline their volunteer background screenings. If you want to learn how BIB can help you, call us at (704) 439-3900 or visit www.bib.com today.
For more information, download our free ebook, Best Practices for Screening Volunteers.