Employers are looking at social media more than ever to inform their hiring and retention decisions. CareerBuilder found more than half of employers found content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate; another third found online content that caused them to reprimand or fire an existing employee.
With the prevalence of social media, it may be negligent for business not to scan for negative information. In a recent study, 90% of business admit they screen a job seeker’s social media accounts before they make a hiring decision. While savvy candidates scrub their pages for rants and posts not suitable for the workplace, they often do so with their most recent activity. Few have the time to go to early posts, and too often HR professionals don’t have the time for a deep dive either. There may be hidden problems if you look back far enough, but the investment in time to find them may be prohibitive.
As we’ve seen, however, early social media activity can also be a deal-breaker. Celebrities and regular folks are being called out for statements they posted – sometimes a decade earlier. For recruitment professionals, the potential is there for a negligent hire if screening isn’t thorough, but the time to do so may not be possible.
Problematic Post-hire Posts
In addition to screening potential new hires, the CareerBuilder survey found 48% of employers use social networking sites to research current employees, with 10% attributing time to do so daily. Social media monitoring is the newest time-drain for HR. We’ve seen employee posts complaining about serving customers, or ranting about shooting people. While it may seem astonishing that workers, from entry-level to highly educated, would put themselves and their careers at risk so publicly, it’s more common than you think.
Some believe their social media pages, or posts they share only with friends, are actually private. They can quickly become viral, however, putting the employee and business at risk. The backlash can be quickly felt for having such a worker: apologies or even terminating employment may not alleviate the problem. Negligent monitoring of existing employees can be as devastating as a negligent hire.
This task of constantly monitoring every employee’s social media presence isn’t just time-consuming, it may be almost impossible. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram may be the most commonly used, but there are other social media sites that might pose a potential risk. HR professionals should be spending their talents on high-value duties, not swiping through posts: but the risk to business can be significant if they don’t.
The Solution: AI Social Media Screening
You may not have the time or the staff to scan a decade’s worth of social media posts for every potential hire, but are you putting your organization at risk if you don’t? The newest tool for Human Resource professionals is automation: leveraging artificial intelligence to scrub through decades (or more) of social media posts in a matter of seconds.
AI social media screening and monitoring looks for keywords and phrases that may present a red flag, highlighting them for a recruiter to review. The lengthy process of the past – scouring every potential page for each candidate or employee – is reduced to a few keystrokes today. When the tech has completed the scan, the HR professional need only check the highlighted posts to inform their hiring decision. For existing employees, AI scans constantly, notifying HR when there’s a questionable post and allowing them to determine whether reprimands are in order, or if it’s time to move forward with separating from the employee.
The technology screens for other potential risks, like discrimination, harassment or bullying online. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) charges employers with providing a safe, harassment-free workplace. Online threats, harassment or bullying are within these guidelines. While employees should immediately report such behaviors, they’re often intimidated to do so. Escalation could ensue, putting the employee and the business at risk. Technology isn’t intimidated: it reports to HR immediately if threats or inappropriate posts are discovered.
AI social media screening takes a potential risk out of the hands of overworked HR professionals, who, even if they had the time, could easily miss out on a post that goes up and down within hours. Leveraging technology to keep an eye on staff members and vet potential hires is a best practice all employers should use to protect themselves and their employees.