Are There Gaps In Your Screening Policy?
Posted Thursday, October 1st, 2015 by Verified Volunteers Staff
At the heart of every good background screening program you should find a thorough and all-encompassing policy. Your policy is what forms the foundation of your screening program as every background check you conduct will be based on it. Many nonprofit organizations have considerable gaps that provide a window of opportunity for job seekers and potential volunteers.
Your background screening policy should define which employees and volunteers are screened, how they are screened, and the process for factoring background check results into the hiring/onboarding decision. Many organizations have adopted screening policies that cover the basics, but many neglect to consider some common gaps:
- SCREENING EVERYONE – EMPLOYEES, VOLUNTEERS, & BEYOND
Are you just screening your organization’s employees? If so, you need to consider the folks you aren’t screening: your extended workforce (comprised of contingent, contract, and temporary workers, many of whom have some level of access to your organization’s information, technology or assets) and, of course, your volunteers and unpaid workers. Ensure that your screening policy covers everyone from full-time salaried employees to temps, interns and volunteers.
- DIRECTORS & BOARD MEMBERS
Organizations are more likely to screen entry-level staff than senior level staff, but which person could do more damage to the organization’s assets, brand, and reputation? If you are giving your directors and board members a pass on the most thorough background checks, you’re leaving a glaring gap in your policy that could have catastrophic consequences.
- UPDATES & RESCREENING
Just because an employee or volunteer had a clean criminal history when they came onboard, doesn’t mean that it will always stay that way. A criminal record check depicts a moment in time and becomes outdated almost instantly. The solution to closing this gap is through monthly updates and regular rescreening.
- REGULAR REVIEW OF SCREENING POLICY
Have you reviewed your screening policy this year? It’s a must, because there are constantly legislative changes occurring. If you take only one thing away, let it be regular review of your screening policy. Have a documented process for reviewing your policy to account for any legislative changes, industry best-practices or new technology that will improve the efficiency of screening. Follow a pre-determined schedule, such as an annual review, and involve all key stakeholders to help identify areas that need improvement or updating. Be sure to consult legal counsel as part of the review to ensure local compliance regulations are clearly accounted for.