How Social Media Screening Can Help Foster a Better Workplace Culture

Let's face it: Toxic workplaces don't happen overnight. They fester over months—even years—if left unchecked. The toxicity tends to lurk in the shadows at first, beginning with an inappropriate joke by the water cooler or an off-color text exchanged between colleagues during a conference call.

Eventually, though, the toxicity becomes bolder, more open: an inappropriate comment lobbed in a Slack channel; an insensitive remark made by one employee to another; problematic pics posted to Facebook from a supposed "work" event, even though the images obviously have nothing to do with work and everything to do with racist [bigoted, vulgar, sexist, fill-in-the-blank] behavior.

Tensions at work simmer. Some employees leave. Others put up with the toxicity because they need the paycheck—they can't simply up and quit (as much as they might want to).

Meanwhile, the bad actors continue to recommend and/or hire people similar to them. HR either feigns ignorance when someone complains, or it offers empty promises about "looking into it." Or perhaps HR tries to intervene, but it receives constant reminders from leadership that the company can't afford to lose top performers.

So the bad behavior goes on, unchecked, until tensions boil over, resulting in bad press, customer backlash, a mass exodus, even lawsuits.

Unfortunately, what we've described above isn't fiction. All too often, we hear about yet another company coming under fire for having cultivated a toxic workplace and ignoring legitimate complaints made over the months and years by employees.

While we can't speak specifically about any single case, we can say generally that it is possible to avoid creating a toxic workplace in the first place. Yes, it takes effort, planning, and investment. But the point is: It's possible. And one of the best tools that can help? Pre-employment social media screening.

Why should organizations screen a job candidate's social media channels?

A person's digital footprint provides a wealth of information regarding their character—info you can use to hire better employees who are the right fit for your organization. After all, people tend to reveal their true colors on social media, for better or worse.

How does social media screening work?

We can only speak to how we do it at Good Egg. Using lightning-fast artificial intelligence (AI), our screening solution scours an applicant's online activity for behaviors that could put your company at risk, such as:

1. Hate Speech

2. Insults and Bullying

3. Narcotics

4. Obscene Language

5. Self-Harm

6. Threat of Violence

7. Toxic Language

8. Drug-Related Images

9. Explicit/Racy Images

10. Violent Images


Is social media screening legal? Is social media screening ethical?

Compliant social media screening is legal (and ethical), but notice the keyword "compliant." Business owners and/or HR should never attempt to do the social media screening themselves. Using a reputable third-party vendor like Good Egg is the way to go.

Our social media background checks are conducted in a compliant manner and redact protected class information, such as race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, and so forth. You get the insights you need to make better hiring decisions while protecting the job candidate's right to privacy.

But inappropriate online behavior can happen any time—even after someone is hired. Does social media screening really help create a better work environment?

Compliantly screening a candidate's social channels can go a long way in making sure you're hiring someone who is the right fit for your organization. But it's true that bad online behavior can happen at any time, including post-hire. This is why we recommend ongoing social media monitoring of employees.

OK, so what is social media monitoring?

Social media monitoring works similarly to pre-employment screening—our artificial intelligence keeps tabs on employees' social medial channels and only flags problematic online activity (see the bulleted list above). HR can review the flagged content and decide what steps to take, if any. The goal is to nip problems in the bud before they boil over into the workplace.

I think my business needs social media screening. What should I do next?

Great! Our awesome customer service reps would be happy to show you how social media screening works—and how it will help you foster a positive, safe, and productive workforce. Get in touch today!

Let us show you our social media screening solution first hand—request a demo!


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Danielle Deutsch

Posted by Danielle Deutsch

Danielle is the Senior Digital Marketing Coordinator at Good Egg & Foley Services. In her spare time you can find her either visiting an aquarium, enjoying a Broadway show or competing in a Crossfit competition.

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