Trust, but Verify Volunteer Candidates and Potential New Hires

, , , , , , , , | October 3, 2022 | By

It is often said that trust is earned. However, those in charge of schools, parks and recreation departments, staffing firms, YMCAs, and charitable organizations are quick to testify that it is difficult to get a sense of someone’s true identity during a brief social interaction. Instead of accepting anyone as a volunteer or new hire at your organization, verify their integrity and character before adding them to the team.

Why Volunteer Screening Is Important

There is a common misconception that volunteer screening is unimportant, especially if the organization is located in a rural or suburban area where communities are more tightly-knit. Even if you live in a small town and have developed a rapport with the majority of the residents in your area, there is still good reason to conduct a background check on each prospective volunteer.

Whether you are in charge of adding volunteers at a charitable organization, school, YMCA, nonprofit group, or other entity, it is imperative to conduct volunteer screening. In particular, those who make decisions pertaining to whether background screenings are conducted and the manner in which those searches are conducted, play an especially important role. Opt for in-depth volunteer/employee screening before extending an offer, and you’ll have the information necessary to choose the right new additions to your team.

Let’s back up the importance of volunteer screening with some facts and figures. As an example, most people are surprised to learn that BIB conducted more than 21,600,000 sex offender screens for YMCAs across the nation in 2019 and determined that 2,930 of those screens resulted in positive matches for sex offenders. If those screenings were not conducted, YMCAs throughout the country would have been staffed by predators.

As another example, consider the disturbing fact that background checks have lapsed for 30% of DC public school employees. Furthermore, USA Today discovered some teachers are transitioning from one state to the next despite previous misconduct, reinforcing the merit of background checks all the more.

The moral of this story is proactively preventing sex offenders, and other predators from volunteering and immersing themselves in situations where vulnerable people are present is an essential initial line of defense against a potentially life-altering tragedy down the line.

The Cream of the Crop

Your organization needs and deserves the best contributors. Perform your due diligence by conducting background checks on all prospective volunteers. You’ll have the information you need to select the best individuals for your organization, cause, school, or another group. Background screenings reveal previous professional roles, criminal history, demographic information, and additional details that present more of a complete picture of the candidates in question.

Above all, selecting the cream of the crop for your volunteer project, educational institution, YMCA, or other group benefits the collective interest as it reduces the potential for unacceptable, deviant, or criminal behavior. The last thing your organization needs to hover ominously over important projects is the specter of civil or criminal litigation stemming from an unvetted or poorly vetted volunteer. Opt for a comprehensive background check on each potential candidate, and you’ll be able to make fully informed decisions pertaining to new personnel.

Screen Candidates for Your Information Access Hierarchy

Every organization has an internal hierarchy, with each respective position of power having its designated level of access to confidential systems and information. The bottom line is only certain employees and volunteers should have access to sensitive information. You’ll be able to confidently expand authorization access to your new hires in due time if you take the initial step of screening those candidates.

Thorough initial candidate screening empowers hiring managers to fill positions and assign duties as appropriate while also planning for an expansion of those contributors’ roles moving forward. The key takeaway is that information is power, especially when used appropriately by hiring managers, human resources personnel, and others who make onboarding/hiring decisions.

Begin Background Screening Your Candidates Today

Take full advantage of all of the information made available to you by our screening team, and you’ll have the confidence to choose the best candidates for your next volunteer, work-related, or other project. Our affordable background checks are a call away. Reach out to us today at 704-439-3900 to find out more about our background checks for volunteers, prospective new hires, and other potential contributors to your organization.