Creating Structure in Your Volunteer Onboarding Process

January 18, 2023 by Verified First

Volunteer Onboarding Blog Image (2)

With a new year comes New Year's resolutions. Many people decide to better themselves with activities like working out, learning a new hobby, or volunteering locally. To facilitate a healthy volunteer experience, organizations need to focus on streamlining the onboarding process in order to make assimilation into an organization easy for both the new volunteers and existing staff.

To start off the new year on the right track, here are some tips on how you can create structure in your volunteer and staff onboarding process. 

Be Transparent with the Process

While many church organizations need volunteers, the process rarely happens overnight. Vetting volunteers to make sure they are the right fit for a role needs to happen before a volunteer walks through your doors. 

It’s important to be transparent with your onboarding process to provide volunteers a positive experience. Clear communication on what will happen during the onboarding process is key to creating structure. You can educate new volunteers on your process by:

  • Creating one-sheets - Breaking down imperative information into a sheet (or two) of information can help answer questions many volunteers may have.
  • Pair them with an established volunteer - Giving volunteers a buddy to help them through the process can ease the transition into an organization.
  • Hold informational sessions - Organizations can hold informational sessions on what the volunteer process is with them before volunteers are onboarded.

Unify Staff on Volunteer Expectations

Adding a new volunteer or staff member into the mix is an adjustment for everyone involved. With established staff, they might not know how to go about integrating a new member into the day-to-day organizational duties. You can support your staff by defining the expectations your organization has for volunteers. 

Patty Gentry, Director of Volunteer Engagement and Mobilization at the March of Dimes, gave some advice on supporting staff through the volunteer onboarding process in Verified First’s third episode of the Face to Face webinar series. In a section of this episode (titled Going Beyond: Aligning Values & Mission to Build Volunteer Advocates), Patty explored the relationship between existing staff and new volunteers. She remarked that the best way to prepare staff for new volunteers is to educate them. She suggested that organizations create scenarios of possible interactions between staff and volunteers that one could encounter in order for staff members to understand how to handle what could be thrown their way.

Utilize a Background Screening Partner

Onboarding new volunteers and new staff is a lot of work. In order to take some of that work off of your plate, utilize a background screening provider. A background screening provider like Verified First will come alongside your organization and facilitate your screening needs so that you can focus on other areas of the volunteer onboarding process. 

Verified First integrates directly into 100+ ATS and volunteer management platforms with our VF Connector. You can order and manage screens straight from your volunteer management platform like:

  • Nationwide Sex Offender Database Search
  • Nationwide Criminal Database Search 
  • Global Watch Lists/Homeland Security Lists and Sanctioned Lists
  • Social Security Address Trace Report 
  • International & Interpol of 190+ Countries

A partnership with a background screening partner like us can organize volunteer information and help you find structure in your onboarding process.

In Conclusion:

In the New Year, prioritize structure in your volunteer and staff onboarding process. When you’re transparent with your onboarding process, you unify your staff on expectations, and you utilize a screening provider, you can start off handling new volunteers in 2023 strong. 

About Verified First
Verified First is known for delivering streamlined background screening backed by the best client support, and for developing the easiest, fastest HR system integrations, for free. Our client support team is U.S.-based, answers calls in seconds, resulting in hundreds of positive testimonials and a 96% customer satisfaction. Verified First's patent-pending, award-winning integrations include over 100 applicant tracking systems, and provide clients a turn-key experience.

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