Volunteer Background Checks: Even Political Campaigns Do Them

The importance of volunteer background checks for people who work with children or who have access to Personally Identifying Information (PII) or money can’t be overstated. Background checks are proven to be the number one tool at preventing crime or workplace violence or other inappropriate actions from happening at your business or school or ministry. And now another group is taking a proactive approach to protecting itself from insider threats – political campaigns.

Donald Trump’s campaign is asking would-be volunteers to consent to a background check and sign a non-disclosure agreement if they want to serve in the Trump Tower Call Center in Manhattan. An email that was passed along to various media outlets sent to prospective volunteers said, in part:

“We need to get you to sign an NDA, check your identification, and give you an idea of what you can expect as a volunteer in our call center… Within a few days, we will complete a very basic and routine background check and then we will invite you to set your own schedule.”

Workplace Safety

While some people may scoff at the notion of asking call center volunteers to sign an NDA and pass a background check, workplace safety should always be a priority. Politics aside, Trump Tower is a busy mixed-use building filled with businesses like Gucci and apartment owners like European soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo. The act of requiring volunteers who wish to participate at the Trump Campaign Headquarters to pass a background check and sign a non-disclosure form is really a way to protect the people who work and live in that building everyday.

Workplace violence is a real thing. You may not think much of it unless you hear of something really bad happening. These stats prove that it happens more than you realize:

  • Since the year 2000, an average of 552 work-related murders have occurred annually in the US
  • As of 2011, the total Deaths from Violence and Assaults by Persons (combines work-related homicides and workplace suicides) has reached 7,156 – an average annual death toll of 795.

The latest report from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows some areas of improvement. Fatal work injuries due to violence and other injuries by persons or animals were lower in 2014, with 749 deaths in 2014 compared to 773 in 2013. The number of workplace homicides was about the same as the total in 2013, but workplace suicides decreased slightly in 2014, from 282 to 271.

This could show a direct correlation between the rising numbers of businesses who conduct routine background checks on employees and volunteers and the overall reduction of workplace violent incidents. In other words, background checks work.

Workplace Violence Awareness Month

April 2016 is Workplace Violence Awareness Month. Started by the Alliance Against Workplace Violence (AAWPV), this national movement raises awareness about what workplace violence is, who are the most common victims, and what tools people have at their disposal to help curb it.

A background check is the single-most effective tool an employer can implement to keep his or her employees, volunteers, clients and visitors protected from danger. As a background screening agency, our team at Active Screening is all too aware of the dangers that lie behind a candidate’s resume or personality. That’s one of the reasons we take our job as background investigators so seriously – we know how important our results are to keeping workplaces safe.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that almost 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. But like any situation where there is a perpetrator and a victim/survivor, many other instances go unreported so the true toll of workplace violence is still a mystery.

OSHA recommends employers implement zero-tolerance policies toward workplace violence. These policies should cover all workers, patients clients, visitors, contractors, and VOLUNTEERS. The policy should be part of a thorough on-boarding process for new employees and volunteers so that everyone receives the same information and training. The policy should also be readily available or publicly posted at your workplace so the possibility for confusion, misunderstanding or misinterpretation is eliminated.

Volunteer Screening You Can Count On

Screening volunteers is one of the smartest moves you can make to protect yourself, your employees and your clients from workplace violence. It’s not just for people who work with vulnerable populations or PII anymore. No matter the nature of your organization, every VOLUNTEER should be background checked.

Active Screening wants to make this as easy as possible for you. We have developed an online consultation solution so you can select the right volunteer background check. Recommendations include criminal background checks, as well as a ”true” 50 states sex offender registry search, with several states that must be searched by ”name-only” as some states do not provide date of birth on the offenders. A social security number verification is included to verify the correct name and date of birth of the applicant and to alert you to possible mismatches between the name provided by the applicant and the name registered to the social security number. A mismatch could indicate that the applicant is attempting to hide his/her true identity.

We are just as passionate about keeping your workplace safe as you are. That’s why we urge you to incorporate a thorough screening program into your hiring and employment processes. We’d love to talk with you about how to improve workplace safety through background checks and why not do it during Workplace Violence Awareness Month!? Send us an email here. 

This entry was posted in Background Screening, Criminal Records, General, Human Resources, News, References & Credentialing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia's clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter - give her a shout @pattycfreelance.
 
        
Active ScreeningBarbara S.
Healthcare Industry

"Here at Holland Hospital, we have been extremely pleased with Active Screening. The report results come back quickly, usually within 24 hours or less.  The staff at Active Screening is easy accessible, knowledgeable and responds to our questions promptly."

Active ScreeningLynn C. Staffing Industry

"Benton Mobley has been and remains my Main point of contact at Active Screening from the beginning; so aside from the comfort of dealing with the same person all these years, there is the most important fact of all;  customer satisfaction. Benton knows the business like the back of his hand; and that is what we need in our fast paced industry of staffing. He is the all-time BEST!  MY employer, Leslie, believes in the notion that great service deserves to be rewarded, so we are here for the duration.We get immediate and personalized attention for any and all concerns we need addressed, and in the staffing industry, this is vital."

Active ScreeningCayce R. Education Industry

"My experience working with Active Screening for our background check process has been very positive.  The reports are almost always completed in a very timely fashion. The information reported appears to be very thorough and accurate.  On the rare occasions that we have questions or problems, the customer service team is always very quick to respond and resolve the issue.  Overall, I am very pleased with the service I receive from Active Screening."

Active ScreeningCraig H. Staffing Industry

"Your customer service is excellent.  The turn around time on background checks is quite fast.  Excellent work.  I haven't had a single problem."

Active ScreeningJackie C. Education Industry

"I wanted to thank you and your staff for being so patient and working so diligently with the Human Resources staff during our recent endeavor to process all of our work study students through background screenings.  We have never had to process so many requests within such a short period of time before, but thanks to you and your staff we made it. Again thank you, we made a good choice in selecting Active Screening."

Active ScreeningLindsey W.  Financial Industry

"I wanted to share my appreciation for your wonderful service...switching background screening companies could have been a stressful task, but your company made the transition seamless. Your website was extremely easy to navigate and the turn around time has been great. I appreciate when information is missing or entered incorrectly during ordering, your company notifies me right away to ensure that my error does not hold the reports results, causing us a delay in hiring an individual...Active Screening has been great to us and I would definitely refer them to others."

Active ScreeningTerry S. Property Management

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Active ScreeningYulesis D.  Staffing Industry

“Interactive Response Technologies (IRT) has more than 2,000 employees at multiple locations across the United States. IRT has been using Active Screening to conduct criminal background checks since 2006. During this time, Active Screening has consistently returned accurate reports, usually with less than 48 hours turnaround. If there are any problems or inconsistencies with the reports, their staff has called to notify us so that we can attempt to rectify the situation. The staff at Active Screening is always courteous and congenial over the phone. In our opinion, Active Screening is outstanding.”

Active ScreeningAndy N. Software Provider

 "Active Screening has helped us screen our applicants in record time for more than two years.... we are very impressed with the professionalism and speed with which their service team responds to our questions. They understand our needs and are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them."

Active ScreeningCassie J. Staffing Industry

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Active Screening

With over 20 years of law enforcement experience I can attest to the fact that the strongest predictor of future criminal behavior is a person’s criminal history. As the manager of campus safety at my church, I depend on Active Screening to provide a thorough assessment of every criminal history background check we request. For more than 3 years, Active Screening has been faithful to this task with timely, accurate and reliable service.

Active Screening

We have benefited from knowing that we are not exposing the communities we work with or ourselves to unnecessary risk. We continue to have a perfect record in that we have never had a serious incident with a trip participant causing harm or acting inappropriately with any community member or fellow team member- thank goodness!

Active Screening

I would highly recommend any association or organization who conducts background checks to use Active Screening. In addition to my involvement with WAHA, I am an officer in a corporation with over 500 employees who provide treatment, mental health, and correctional services for children and adolescents. Our company is mandated by law to do comprehensive background searches and I can say with the utmost sincerity that Active Screening product rivals that of any government or other private sector process.

Active Screening

We have used Active Screening and their solution VERITY to screen all our coaches and volunteers working with youth. The online system gives us an easy and cost-effective solution to collecting forms and payments from our applicants...and we simply login to view the results of who passed or failed. It's so easy....thank you Active Screening.