When it comes to volunteering, there are a few key things to know as both an applicant and an employer. As an applicant, you need a good understanding of your expectations and what makes you a good fit for the position. As an employer, you need the ability to conduct background checks on your volunteer applicants accurately and quickly. Above all, we should know the facts versus the fiction about volunteer screening.
FACT: Volunteers are real employees
Volunteers are as much employees as a CEO, a receptionist, or a janitor. The absence of a paycheck does not make them any less representative of your organization and values.
Many volunteer positions have access or knowledge of sensitive information about the company and your clients. They are part of your team and it’s important to consider them as such.
FICTION: No one even volunteers anymore
The most recent survey from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 25% of the nation takes time to volunteer. In addition to that, hundreds of employers consistently and actively seek volunteers locally in our area. Despite how many people volunteer nationally, the need continues to grow. As does the need to ensure they are qualified for their role.
FACT: You do need skills and qualifications
Certain volunteer opportunities require extensive experience or skills depending on the nature of the work. For example, volunteering in the medical field generally requires a background in medicine.
Employers use the screening process to verify that you do in fact have the proper education, employment history, or other certifications to qualify.
FACT: You can volunteer if you have a criminal record
Picture this. Let’s say a volunteer position you’re applying for involves working with children at an after-school program. You have a misdemeanor on your record for drunk driving. The job does not require operating any kind of vehicle, so this offense is unlikely to affect your work performance.
While criminal charges still matter, the likelihood of being hired depends on the severity of the offense and its impact on your ability to do the job.
FICTION: It takes weeks to do a background check
When you think about going through a background check, you kind of assume it’s a long, drawn out process that takes weeks. With some companies it does.
Fortunately, with Alliance 2020, the results of a volunteer screening typically have a 24-hour turnaround. It should be a fast, easy process for all of us. There’s no time to waste when it comes to getting you the information you need.