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Hiring ‘The One’ – The Role of Social Media Screening

by Asangi Jasenthuliyana 11 Jun, 2019

Looking for ‘The One’. The on-going process of any organization.  

HR teams spend weeks posting vacancies, talking to recruiters, screening through applications, calling for and scheduling interviews. (Trust them when they say hiring is not easy. It really is not!)  Managers spend scores of hours interviewing person after person till they find ‘the one’ that fits the job role, the organization, the culture. ‘The one’ that will turn things around and make all difference.  

Months of searching. Endless interviews and… finally, it’s a match! A union made in heaven.  

But like in most relationships, there is really no one right way to screen through the people you meet. No one can judge someone’s personality from a CV.  An experienced interviewer maybe able to read a candidate better at an F2F meeting, but there is no guarantee that you are hiring a sane person. A person that fits your company ethics and someone who may not jeopardize your staff’s well being.  

It needs no reminding that we live in a digitized world. And with it comes the dangers of more split personalities than ever before encountered. People live separate lives online- one that is poles apart from the one they show in front of others. Hence it has become rather important to understand the mindset of your potential employees. The kind of social analysis a police report (or a criminal report) can’t give you.

Quite recently and all too close to home, we saw how an employee of a reputed company being involved in extremists groups and was linked to the terror Lanka faced on the 21st of April.  So many others were brought in for questioning based on what they spoke about, shared and advocated in their social channels.  

Imagine the shock of those companies they worked. The state of mind of the co-workers!  Always worrying if whoever they sat next to day in day out were posing some threat or the other

Extremism is not the only hazardous behaviour candidates can bring to the table. From Sexual harassment, unethical practices, animal cruelty, disrespect and cultural intolerance to being a bad drunk, toxic behaviour can be at different levels  

All of which could cost the company in various ways. 

1. Employee turnover

When there are troublesome people who don’t fit in you naturally need to let them go. And naturally you need to hire others to replace them. So starts the whole hiring process. A costly affair which adversely affects the productivity and the smooth running of a business

2.  Legal claims 

Firing is easier said than done. You can’t just get up one day and decide you don’t like an employee for who they are and get rid of them. We do have labour laws and legal claims can take quite a toll on the company. Not to mention the reputation 

3. Employee morale and productivity 

Working side by side toxic people can really bring others down. Having a prejudiced boss makes it harder. Female employees might have it worse if they are dealing with harassment, however subtle it may be. This can lead to your best employees quitting or being unproductive.
 

4. Bad rep is hard to overcome 

What if employees who quit spoke openly about the toxic culture created by bad managers? How they were forced to work with unethical or ‘ill mannered’ people? Or others outside of the company faced hazardous behavior by an employee?  

social media screening
So how do you ensure you hire a person that is not hazardous?

Social media today has become the ‘window to someone’s soul’.  – if read, analyzed and interpreted properly – giving away more information about some one’s thoughts, behavior patterns, likes and dislikes than you could ever hope to gain by having an actual conversation with them.  

Analyzing a potential employee’s online behavior could get you insight as to how they behave off duty. U’stand if the people you hire are people with empathy, they knew how to co-exist and build healthy relationships in the workplace.  His/ Her way of thinking and how they behave with his friends and peers. 

Social media screening goes beyond analyzing a potential hire. 

It could very efficiently be used to fight insider threats as well. Unhappy or demotivated employees often speak up on social media than with their managers, voicing their frustration with friends and peers and this can negatively reflect on your brand. More so, those who are negative online may also be negative in the office effecting the moral of their colleagues. 

 

If done right, social media screening can be very beneficial to employers. It reduces the HR burden and cuts cost of employee turnover, also creating a healthy work environment for all employees.  In short, if your potential hire was really ‘the one’. If the union that’s about to take place was going to be a happy and productive one.