Two of the greatest challenges facing Human Resources professionals in their day-to-day recruitment operations are:
- Gaining a true, in-depth understanding of their candidates.
- Eliminating unconscious bias during the hiring process.
Even with criminal background checks, professional screening services, and Google, it can still be daunting for organizations to decide whether a potential hire is a good fit. This is where social media screening comes in.
Billions of people are active on social media platforms every day, collectively posting an endless stream of content about their activities and interests. But under the surface of all the joke memes and cute cat videos, much of the content created and published by social media users provides deep insights into the intimate thoughts and beliefs of people around the world.
For this reason alone it’s critical that Human Resources departments utilize publicly-available data found on social platforms to learn more about prospective hires, current staff, and ex-employees. Below, we’ll explore some of the use cases in which HR departments can leverage social media data to their advantage, as well as the direct benefits that can be gained from social media monitoring and screening.
Social Media Screening for Job Candidates
When it’s time to fill an open role at an organization, the process will usually look something like this:
- Job Posting: Human Resources specialists create a detailed job description, which is then published across recruitment platforms.
- Application: Potential candidates respond to the posting by sending in their resumes and cover letters.
- Evaluation: HR teams evaluate applications according to their criteria, and begin reaching out to suitable candidates to book interviews.
- Vetting: Once the interviews have been successfully completed and the preferred candidates are shortlisted, HR teams begin the vetting process of background checks, including references, criminal record checks, social media history audits, and cursory Googling.
But what if you could identify desirable candidates earlier, more efficiently, and accurately – while removing unconscious bias at the same time?
According to research from Inc.com, over half of employers have rejected a candidate for inappropriate social media activity. What’s more, research from CareerBuilder found 27% of candidates surveyed have lied about their qualifications during the interview process.
But manual social media screening is time-consuming, inefficient, and laced with bias—making it ultimately unscalable. Automated social media screening can help filter out fraudulent applications, undesirable candidates, and remove bias during the hiring process to ensure you get the most qualified candidates.
With advanced social media screening software, HR teams can begin vetting candidates immediately. Instead of conducting a first-round interview, evaluating the results, and then repeating for each candidate, HR teams can save time and resources by running a quick social media audit on eligible candidates before the interview process has even begun.
This way, companies can quickly identify candidates whose social media behavior does not align with their core brand values.
Social Media Monitoring for Current and Ex-Employees
In many ways, social media is the Wild West of personal expression, where people can voice their opinions freely, but sometimes with shocking, inappropriate, or unintended results. Twitter and Facebook have even been called modern-day “town squares”. The difference is that today’s digital town squares record and catalog every utterance within searchable databases, which anyone can revisit months or even years later. In other words, nothing goes unseen on social media.
The benefit of this publicly available social data is it provides organizations with an effective way to monitor the online behavior of potential, current, and former employees. This makes it easy for HR teams to ensure compliance with social media policies, as well as keep track of public comments made by employees.
There’s good reason to do so: A joint study found that even a small number of voices bad-mouthing an employer can have devastating impacts on the organization, limiting the ability to attract new talent, retain employees, and foster company culture.
Negative comments on social media are costly, there’s no doubt — all the more reason to proactively monitor and screen behavior across social platforms.
What kind of social media screening tools should HR departments use?
When it comes to detailed social media audits and real-time monitoring of social media handles, organizations need automated tools that are sophisticated yet intuitive.
Advanced social media monitoring and screening tools like VN Secure give HR departments the functionality and flexibility they need to undertake social screening at scale, without breaking the bank.
What should organizations look for in social media screening tools?
Organizations should look for the following features to ensure efficiency, scalability, and cost-effectiveness:
- Fully customizable settings: Not every organization will have the same risk tolerance for certain types of social media content. For example, one brand may be comfortable with profanity, while another may not. So make sure your solution is customizable.
- Screen multiple content types: Some social media screening solutions can only screen for text-based content, leaving images and videos untouched. VN Secure enables the monitoring and screening of text, image, and video content, including text-in-image analysis using Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
- Scan complete social media history: Many social screening solutions only reach back a few years into a handle’s history. VN Secure performs deep historical analysis going as far back as the very first post.
- Automated: AI-powered screening tools free up valuable time and resources while reducing human error in the hiring process, increasing workplace diversity and improving company culture at the same time.
While other features should be considered as well, these three primary functions are essential to creating a comprehensive social screening program that will remove unconscious bias and allow Human Resources to operate more efficiently and effectively.
Effortlessly screen and monitor social media with VN Secure
You’ve seen how important it is for HR departments to monitor and screen social media handles, both early in the candidate screening process and post-hire, to ensure compliance with corporate policies.
Your reputation is way too important to not include social screening as part of your standard Human Resources operations.
Moving forward, social screening will become as essential to HR processes as standard background checks. In fact, it could be argued it’s been like that for a while — as forward-thinking businesses have already implemented social media monitoring and screening procedures as part of mission-critical operations.