Following careful reflection after interviews, it is time to select who (if anyone) is best suited for the volunteer role. A consideration of competency, character and culture, guided by the role description, will assist in this decision. Deciding who is or is not a "good match" for a role, is likely to be the easy part. Putting that decision into action is what selection is all about.
In this section we will focus on how to:
- Confirm a volunteer role with an applicant and the tasks you need to complete before they commence their role.
- Tell someone they are not the right fit for the role.
- Determine if a criminal background check is required for the role.
Confirming a Volunteer Role
Great! You’ve found a suitable match for the role. Now you must confirm with the applicant.
- Contact the applicant within the time period previously communicated.
- If not previously supplied, ask for reference contact details.
- If a criminal background check is required for the role, explain how this will need to be undertaken before they commence.
- Explain logistics: what to bring, what to wear, where to park, and who to contact if there are any issues.
- Explain what to expect on their first day, thank them again and explain next steps.
Invest the time here so the new volunteer feels valued and fully supported to commence their role —first impressions count.
Informing an Unsuccessful Applicant
It is important to notify unsuccessful candidates of your decision. By doing so, you are reducing their wait and ensuring they have a dignified experience with The Salvation Army.
- Contact any unsuccessful applicant within a reasonable time.
- Be prepared the person may feel distressed. In the event someone still expresses dissatisfaction with the decision, stay calm and respectful.
- You may consider whether there is another role this person may be suitable for. If not, you can always refer them to a nearby volunteer resource centre or community centre so they can explore other volunteering opportunities.
Remember, it is in everyone’s best interest to have the right person for the role.
Criminal Background Checks
A criminal background check may be a requirement of a volunteer role and must be completed before the volunteer commences their role.
Whether a criminal background check is a minimum requirement, and to what extent, will be stated on the role description or can be clarified by the Risk Role Matrix. If after referring to the Risk Role Matrix you are still unsure as to whether a criminal background check is required, contact the Territorial Manager for Volunteer Services.
The process for reducing many legal risks begins with proper selection of the volunteer. Therefore, read this section carefully and take the necessary steps now so everything runs smoothly later.
Examples of risks are:
- A client, member of the public, employee or volunteer is injured by the negligent action/inaction of a volunteer.
- A volunteer in a vulnerable role is assaulted by a client, member of the public, employee or another volunteer.
- The Salvation Army discloses or misuses a volunteer’s personal information.
- A volunteer who is an employee at the same site/service doing the same role.
For the Select stage have you:
Adopting a clear process allows you to find the best match for a volunteer role and helps you to feel confident in your decision. This process values volunteers by reducing the expectation that anyone can volunteer in any role. In addition, these steps will help you feel assured you are taking all reasonable steps to reduce any legal risks eventuating.
Please click on the links below to access the files for each Behind the Shield resource. All resources are available in both French and English. For some of these resources we have created a version that can be printed on any printer you have access to and a version that should be used if you are outsourcing to a print house. Please read the file names carefully and choose the resource that best suits your needs.
- Thank You for Choosing to Volunteer General EN (Pre-Volunteer)
- Thank You for Choosing to Volunteer General FR (Pre-Volunteer)
- Thank You for Choosing to Volunteer Youth EN (Pre-Volunteer)
- Thank You for Choosing to Volunteer Youth FR (Pre-Volunteer)
- Thank You but No Availability EN
- Thank You but No Availability FR
Background Check and Forms:
- Volunteer Background Check Guide EN (Coming Soon!)
- Volunteer Background Check Guide FR (Coming Soon!)
- Volunteer Registration Form EN (Coming Soon!)
- Volunteer Registration Form FR (Coming Soon!)
- Volunteer Agreement EN(Coming Soon!)
- Volunteer Agreement EN(Coming Soon!)
- Volunteer Files for Salvation Army Records EN (Coming Soon!)
- Volunteer Files for Salvation Army Records FR (Coming Soon!)