Five Ways To Make Volunteer Screening Easier In 2018

January 3, 2018
Robert Sanders
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Estimated Read Time: 4 Minutes

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  • First thing you need to do is take a look at your policy. See if it still holds your standards, check if you need to make any changes
  • Start with a decision matrix! A decision matrix is a form with a list of offenses that an organization reviews to standardize which offenses are acceptable and which ones are not
  • Stop using Google or Facebook as a screening tool to find out information about your candidate
  • You could have missing information, inaccurate information, discrimination, and it’s not going to go over well with your volunteers if they were to find out you took this method to screen them
  • Do driver re-checks on your volunteers that drive for your organization
  • Dispose data such as past background checks or past authorization and disclosure forms should be disposed of after seven years

The holidays are over and that means that one of the busiest times for volunteering has come to an end! A round of applause to another great year of finding great volunteers for your organization! But now it’s time to talk about how you can make life easier for yourself. Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t want that? So below are our top five ways to make your volunteer screening process a lot easier in 2018. Let’s get to it!   

 

1.Review Your Policy  

First thing you need to do is take a look at your policy. See if it still holds your standards, check if you need to make any changes. Having that policy in place will ensure you’re bringing in the right people to volunteer for your organization. “But Robert, I don’t even have a policy.” Well that’s ok! I have you covered! Start with a decision matrix (learn more about that in the paragraph below) and check out our free e-book here to learn all the appropriate steps and actions to get you started on building that perfect policy for your organization.

 

2.Create a Decision Matrix

How do you know where to start when creating your company policy? Start with a decision matrix! A decision matrix is a form with a list of offenses that an organization reviews to standardize which offenses are acceptable and which ones are not. When filling out the decision matrix, you should base your decision on the unique needs of your organization and all applicable federal, state, and municipal laws and regulations. Once you have created your decision matrix, your organization can begin to create a policy. “But Robert I already have a decision matrix, this isn’t my first rodeo.” Ok, ok. Then I advise that you review your decision matrix and see if you need to make any changes. It’s always a good idea to revisit these sorts of documents to ensure that the standards outlined are still pertinent to your organization’s standards.    

 

For those that do need a decision matrix, check out an example below. For the full decision matrix please click below to download.

 

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Download Here

 

3.Stop Using Google or Facebook

There are a plethora of reasons why it’s a bad idea to use Google or Facebook as a screening tool. You could have missing information, inaccurate information, discrimination, and it’s not going to go over well with your volunteers if they were to find out you took this method to screen them. But the overall reason you should avoid this is because it can get your organization into some serious trouble!  

 

Earlier, we mentioned that volunteer screening and employment screening are the same rules. So the rules that govern employment screening are the same rules that you have to follow when conducting background checks on your volunteers. It may seem like there are benefits to using Facebook or Google as a hiring tool, but the reward may not out-weigh the risk. The main issue is that protected information can’t be unseen. If a potential volunteer were to be denied an opportunity to volunteer with your organization after the organization saw sensitive information on Facebook or Google, it would be a hard time refuting a discrimination claim regardless of whether or not that information impacted the decision.

 

4. Re-Checking Driving Records

I bet you have volunteers that drive for your organization…but when was the last time you checked their driving record? You could potentially have a volunteer driver that has recently gotten a number of traffic violations or maybe even a volunteer driver who just got a DUI over NYE. You never know! But you can know, by ensuring that you’re checking and rechecking driving records on an annual basis to cut down on risk for your organization.

There’s always going to be risk when putting someone behind the wheel. But you want to make sure that you’re ready for anything. So the first step in mitigating risk is to identify common risks associated with roles that involve driving. There will always be additional risks that are specific to your organization. For these, you’ll need to spend time establishing what they are. However, most risks fit within the four bullet points listed below:

  • Accidents while driving in traffic
  • Accidents caused by weather
  • Diminished driving skills in the elderly
  • Non-traffic accidents

Other ways to cut down on risk are by providing safety training for your volunteers that will be driving and maintaining a high level of accountability in following those safety standards.

 

Free eBook:

Volunteer Screening
The Companion Guide

The topic of Volunteer Screening is a tricky labyrinth to navigate these days. Let us help with the directions.

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Lastly, it is important that you select your volunteers for driving roles based on risk avoidance. The key is establishing a selection process that identifies individuals that have red flags based on the risks you’ve identified related to the driving responsibilities for your organization.

 

5.Data Disposal  

Dispose of it! Dispose of it all! Well…at least if it’s been seven years. Past background checks or past authorization and disclosure forms should be disposed of after seven years. Here at Validity we advise you purge all Consumer / Applicant / Volunteer / Contractor / Student Data reports seven (7) years from its date of creation. Because of recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidance, recent litigation against Consumer Reporting Agencies and Section 618 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Records created prior to 2011 should be purged at the start of 2018, and then annually every January.

Well, there you have it! There’s our five ways to make your volunteer screening easier in 2018. Because volunteer screening can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be.

 

Closing Thoughts  

We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below to tell us your thoughts. To learn more, or if you have any questions, please email me at rsanders@validityscreening.com. For more great blogs and content please subscribe to our blogs here.



Robert Sanders

Written by Robert Sanders

Robert is our Marketing Executive. He is innovative, a creative thinker, and very good at digging into a problem to find the right answer for every topic. Robert speaks on various topics and brings about a lot of interesting points in different areas of business development and human resources. Robert loves to push the envelope and bring awareness to different issues and is also the voice of our podcast "The Water Cooler Podcast" .