It can be as important to investigate individuals being considered for volunteer activities with your organization. Volunteers typically interact with the more vulnerable members of our community. This can include children, the elderly and people with other types of mental and physical challenges.
There is a tendency to automatically assume that an individual who wants to volunteer has totally altruistic intentions. Well, this is not so. Some have an evil intent to abuse your organization’s clients and look at volunteering as a way to get easy access to the most vulnerable.
I have heard it said that there are only two times when a person is perfect: at birth and at the hiring interview. So, we think it best to trust but verify.
Your organization wants to associate with better, safer and more competent individuals. And, it wants to avoid people who have dangerous and unacceptable past behavior. Individuals who falsify your company documents e.g. your application, are probably as likely to falsify documents and activities while associated with your firm. Individuals using illegal drugs can seriously damage your organization’s reputation.
Why do we want to avoid these people? Unfortunately people don’t normally change their behavior. People will most likely perform and act in your organization in the future as they have performed and acted in the past.
Announcing and performing background investigations will deter people with unacceptable behavior from coming into our organization. Let people know you are going to check them out before bringing them into your organization.
Negligent hiring lawsuits average $1 million per incident. Organizations doing nothing to investigate an individual’s background are most vulnerable to these lawsuits.
These are all very real and expensive threats to your organization.
Hiring the right people for your organization is critical. This includes finding the right volunteers. But getting it right isn’t easy. You’ve probably experienced the negative consequences of making the wrong hire or the wrong volunteer selection. It hinders productivity, creates internal turmoil and low morale and can impact customer relationships and result in lost revenues. There are many things you can do to make informed decisions and hire quality employees and volunteers. Some solutions are to use background checks and drug testing.
If you think this doesn’t happen, just google the terms volunteer and sex offender. I did that just before writing this article and found the following: