Impacting Diversity & Inclusion in Manufacturing With Social Media Screening

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Historically speaking, the manufacturing industry has flown under the radar in the conversation of diversity and inclusion. While the corporate landscape reckons with mounting pressure for increased diversity and inclusion, manufacturing companies continue to face one of the most prevalent workplace challenges: combating toxic workplace attitudes. Unfortunately, these attitudes often include intolerant or biased behavior that inhibits the ideal environmental conditions necessary for a diversity program to succeed. Fortunately, social media screening is emerging as a practical tool for companies to accomplish two objectives at once: rooting out inappropriate behavior and improving workplace morale. 

By taking a more holistic approach to screening, manufacturing companies can mitigate toxic behavior and conscious bias to build healthier interpersonal dynamics within their factories, offices, and the broader community. In turn, a healthier workplace culture that actively engages in driving out discrimination may begin to attract a more diverse candidate pool. Here is how:

Holistic screening can provide a more granular look at the individual.

While screening criminal behavior has been the hiring standard for decades, social media screening adds a layer of behavioral, character, and general fitness evaluation to identify suitable individuals for manufacturing roles. Where traditional background checks lack specificity and insight into an applicant's everyday behavior, social media screening fills in the gaps by pinpointing problematic behaviors like intolerance, hate speech, or penchants for violence. 

Poor behavior or firing scandals might mostly evade the public eye (with notable exceptions cropping up from time to time), but the root problem remains the same. Factories employ hundreds or even thousands of people who often are bumping up against each other in the same physical workspaces. Manufacturing takes a tremendous amount of coordination of large teams working in unison. It is paramount that the individuals on these teams work together effectively, and naturally, hiring processes should flag behavior that might prevent that from happening. The solution, then, is to take preventative action.

Apply company values to bolster the screening process 

Company values determine what diversity and inclusion initiatives rely heavily on a values-driven hiring approach, and values are demonstrated best through a track record of social behavior. Social media screening functions as a practical solution to screen for conduct that is inconsistent with company values. For example, if an organization's values include tolerance and inclusivity, the individual screening process should reasonably involve analysis regarding the candidate's publicly stated intolerance or bigoted behavior. 

Social Intelligence Reports all include filters for violence and intolerance. In many cases, companies have expressed a desire for more tailored solutions that cover more consistent monitoring, exposure of trade secrets, or measures to prevent infiltration or sabotage. With these clear, business-related filters, hiring managers are equipped with an actionable document to assist in assessing a candidate’s fitness when their report demonstrates a history of value-averse behavior. 

Actively taking steps to combat discrimination can help attract a more diverse talent pool.

The key to growing diversity is to foster an elastic, inclusive culture capable of absorbing individuals from all walks of life. Evidence supports the claim that discrimination and intolerance are often cited as leading factors in turnover and generally stem from exclusive or homogenous workplace culture. We have found that when companies prioritize inclusivity, their talent streams naturally evolve to resemble a more diverse talent pool. To build more diverse manufacturing teams, these companies lead with the idea that candidates who actively support their initiatives (not only in theory but also in action) will naturally drive the movement toward greater diversity on their production floors. Like any other industry, the manufacturing industry goes through a natural turnover process. With social media screening, HR managers can reliably weed out harmful behavior by screening all new hires for potentially problematic behavior across multiple categories.

In turn, the company that actively takes steps to deter discrimination is more likely to extend that same attitude to the surrounding community, creating a long-term investment in their local communities.

What can Social Intelligence do for the manufacturing industry?

Social Intelligence is proud to have direct relationships with several manufacturing companies, each with specific concerns such as hate groups, photos of fieldwork, and potentially criminal activity. For manufacturing companies, a healthy, functional workplace is of utmost importance. Social Intelligence is here to help you navigate ways to improve the workplace experience from the earliest stages of the employee lifecycle. 


Want to learn more about social media screening in manufacturing?

  • Check out this case study examining the effects of social media screening for an agricultural manufacturer.