6 Quality of Hire Indicators Found in Social Media Screening

When you think of “quality of hire,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If you’re like many HR professionals, you’ll first consider the definition of the term—the value a new hire brings to an organization over time.

Hiring the right candidates for any job can be a challenge—especially when a resumé doesn’t always show off all of the applicant’s best and worst qualities. To maximize the quality of hire for your organization, it’s necessary to investigate how well they’ll mesh with your organization.

Social media screening is one way to enhance your talent acquisition process and improve your overall quality of hire (QoH) moving forward. Understanding what to look for and how social media screening can provide some “red flag” negative indicators of QoH is essential for Talent Acquisition and HR professionals.

Why Quality of Hire Is Important

Quality of hire can be a difficult metric to objectively and consistently measure—especially before a new employee has fully had a chance to adjust to their role and start producing real results. Despite this, organizations such as SHRM call quality of hire “The Holy Grail of Recruiting” because of the impact it can have on an organization.

Here are a few of the potential issues with hiring low-quality employees:

  • Reduced Employee Retention. One of the potential consequences of onboarding a low-quality or “bad fit” hire is you may find them turning around and leaving in short order. As noted in a Career Builder press release: “Two in three workers (66 percent) say they have accepted a job and later realized it was a bad fit… half of these workers (50 percent) have quit within six months.” This contributes to an increased rate of turnover in the organization. Which, in turn, can lead to spending more money on talent acquisition efforts, training new hires, and lost productivity.
  • Low Quality Hires Harm the Work Environment. Three words: toxic work environment. One of the biggest risks that comes with onboarding low-quality hires is they may bring toxic habits and misconduct issues to the workplace—ones that actively make things worse for employees or violate company policy. The average percentage of employees who exhibit “toxic” misconduct behaviors in an organization should be under 5 percent—a standard that most industries fail to meet. Improving quality of hire is one way to reduce overall toxicity in the workplace. By screening out bad fits, employers can maintain a more positive workplace culture that encourages employees to excel while keeping voluntary turnover among your best employees down.
  • Low-Quality Hires Can Cause Scandals. Extremely low-quality hires who engage in toxic workplace behaviors or commit fraud against the organization and its customers can have an enormous negative impact on PR efforts. This is especially harmful if major news organizations pick up the story and share it as a headline—an event so frequent we have a monthly blog focusing on “Workplace Misconduct in the News.”

Compare these impacts to the potential benefits of having high-quality applicants fill new job openings at your organization. High-quality applicants:

  • Bring Long-Term Value to the Organization. A high-quality hire will not only stay with the organization, but they’ll also be able to complete their basic job duties quickly and efficiently nearly from the start of their time with your organization. This helps them start driving value for your organization sooner—and keep driving value over time.
  • Can Reduce Costs. Hiring good-quality workers can reduce costs in a variety of ways. First, because they tend to go the distance (and create a positive work environment that encourages others to do the same), they help reduce the rate of voluntary turnover. This helps minimize hiring costs over time as personnel don’t need to be replaced as frequently. Second, because they aren’t engaging in misconduct (such as fraud), they aren’t contributing to monetary losses/damages caused by said misconduct (stolen money, legal costs, etc.). Finally, they are highly engaged and push the bounds of productivity, which means more work is getting done at higher levels than before.
  • Help Improve Public Relations. Higher-quality job candidates help not only to protect an organization’s public image, but also to actively improve it so consumers and other highly-qualified job candidates will seek out the organization. This is especially important for hires in customer-facing roles, as their interactions with the public form the basis of the public’s perception of your brand.

These are just a few of the potential impacts of low- or high-quality hires on an organization. But, how can you tell if a particular candidate is going to be a great person to add to your team, or someone to avoid at all costs?

One way to tell is to conduct pre-employment screening that includes social media background checks to reveal potential quality of hire indicators.

6 Negative QoH Indicators Found in Social Media Screening

One reason social media screening can be a critical quality of hire measure is that it can be an excellent way to identify extremely intolerant or potentially violent candidates. Some of the negative quality of hire indicators that Fama has discovered include:

  • Online Manifestos/Threats of Violence. Fama has actually identified job candidates with online manifestos threatening extreme workplace violence during social media screening efforts. By weeding out such candidates, employers can improve the quality of hire and help keep the workplace safe.
  • Consistent Expressions of Toxic Views and Behaviors Online. The “anonymity of the internet” can goad many into expressing thoughts and opinions that are, to put it mildly, less than suitable for the workplace. When a job candidate brazenly and consistently makes toxic or violent comments online, it could be a strong indicator of an intolerant mindset that should not be introduced to your work environment. For example, does the applicant share racist attitudes online or use slurs? If so, they aren’t likely to be a good fit for a company dedicated to diversity and inclusion or even one with a diverse customer base.
  • Posted Plans/Statements about Committing Fraud. You’d be surprised just how often a fraudster will brag about the crime they’ve committed or plan to commit. If a social media background check uncovers comments about times an applicant has committed some form of fraud, that’s a very strong indicator they will commit fraud again.
  • Posting of Explicit or Illegal Content. Posts featuring explicit content or outright illegal activity are a major red flag for a social media background check for any employer. Screening out candidates who are likely to cause a scandal through such posts is a must for protecting the organization’s brand image.
  • Online Harassment. Online harassment is all too common online, with roughly four in ten Americans reporting that they’ve been the target of harassment online. The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) notes that an employer “will be liable for harassment by non-supervisory employees or non-employees over whom it has control… if it knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action.” Finding a candidate engaging in online harassment behaviors is a major red flag to be avoided.
  • Evidence of Sexual Misconduct. Has a candidate claimed to engage in sexual misconduct online or posted evidence of such misconduct? Such online behavior can indicate a risk that a candidate will engage in misconduct after being hired—which can be damaging to a company’s reputation.

These are just a few broad examples of some of the kinds of “red flags” commonly found in social media screening.

Start Screening Applicants with Fama

While social media screening can be incredibly useful, it’s important to be both thorough and scrupulously compliant with the rules and regulations governing these background checks. One issue with conducting ad hoc online background screening on your own is that it often runs afoul of protected information that cannot be part of the hiring decision per U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) standards. This includes information such as a candidate’s gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, citizenship, age, or disability status.

To maintain compliance with regulatory standards while ensuring comprehensiveness for your social media screening, it’s important to partner with an organization that’s experienced in performing such background checks and who can filter the data for you.

Fama helps improve quality of hire for Talent Acquisition and HR specialists by conducting comprehensive checks of job candidate’s social media profiles—uncovering both positive and negative QoH indicators. We then filter that data so you’re only provided with information that doesn’t violate your region’s employment compliance regulations. This is how we help organizations improve their quality of hire metrics while avoiding potential legal issues that may arise from online screening.

Are you ready to transform your pre-employment screening process to save time and improve overall quality of hire? Schedule a Fama demo to get started!