According to Statista, there are more that 1.71 billion monthly active users on Facebook alone. The number of worldwide social media users is expected to grow to 2.95 billion by 2020. Since such a substantial number of individuals are using social media, it follows that a large percentage of the workforce also has an online presence.
One of the first steps in protecting your company from the risks of social media is to run pre-employment checks on potential employees. Our Social Media Hiring Reports are designed to locate your candidate’s online presence. Once we have found the right person, we review their content for any material that is violent, illegal, sexually explicit, racist, and/or demonstrates intolerance. We find red flags on roughly 10% of the reports that we conduct. Much of what we find is both graphic and alarming.
The wrong hire can be costly, threaten workplace safety, and can even harm your brand reputation. Screening applicants during the pre-employment process is a great first step towards protecting your company. In addition to pre-employment screening, we also recommend re-screening current employees. A best practice is to re-screen all employees annually to ensure that no red flags slip through the cracks.
Why is it important to re-screen current employees?
“Social media is no longer cutting-edge; it is mainstream. For HR to overlook it today would be like ignoring e-mail 20 years ago.” - Jonathan A. Segal
Applicants typically put their best face forward during a job interview. They may even clean up their social media accounts and profiles if they know that a potential employer is going to be screening for so-called negative content. Once they have the job, new employees may return to posting lewd jokes. They might even start venting about their job, boss, or coworkers.
As time passes and promotions start to pile up, a company could wind up with a senior executive whose Twitter is filled with violent threats and racial slurs against fellow employees. This type of content would be revealed when re-screening all employees’ social media. That way you can catch red flags early and prevent workplace safety incidents.
Contributing author: Caitlin Rogers