By Maria Lahiffe
Screening is the process of confirming that a candidate is suitable for a volunteer post. An essential part of serving your clients and managing organizational risk, it starts before you recruit a single volunteer and never stops until that volunteer finishes working for you.
Volunteer Canada identifies 10 steps of a high-quality screening process, many of which overlap with other stages in the volunteer management cycle. .
The amount of screening you do for a position will depend on the risk associated with that position. For example, you should screen prospective board members more thoroughly than people who will pick up trash at your event.
Risk should be considered through three lenses:
Some things to consider in assessing the risk inherent in a given position are as follows:
You can read more about risk assessment in our previous post.
The most important thing about screening is that screening policies and procedures should be well-communicated and consistently applied.
The Ten Steps of Screening are as follows:
Steps one and two align with planning for volunteer involvement. They are applicable to screening because you cannot assess a candidate’s suitability for a post unless the post itself is well-defined.
Recruitment aligns with screening because your recruitment message will be dictated by the type of candidate you are looking for. For example, if you need someone who is very detail-oriented, and you make that clear when recruiting, then people who are not good with details can self-screen, and apply for something else.
Steps 4-7 are exclusively involved with assessing the suitability of an individual for a specific role.
Steps 8-10 will help a candidate develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be successful on the job, i.e. to become an excellent match to the needs of the post. In addition, many volunteers will self-screen once they fully understand what the job entails, if they realize they are not suitable.
Volunteer screening is an essential part of volunteer management. To learn more, come to our upcoming course.
Click here to register Tuesday, November, 19, 2019. 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Volunteer Ottawa offers a comprehensive suite of courses related to volunteer management. Click here for more information, and to register. Subscribe to our Event RSS Feed to be among the first to know when a new workshop is added to the schedule.
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