Social media is a dirty word for a lot of businesses. This is because there have been so many companies that fail because their online persona is destroyed by a few negative comments. However, another side of it is that it can also make your business stronger than ever before. One that allows you to head off potential problems before they get anywhere near your business. This threat that you can fend off extends to the employees you have working for you. If you are unsure about what a social media check can provide for your business, we encourage you to read on.
Social Media and Your Business
Time and time again, social media has been proven to help a business become stronger. It is free advertising just to have a social media webpage built. When people use your product or your service, they can “like” or “follow” your company on social media. This will show their friends and family that they use your product and services, that they have had a positive experience and more. Based on this knowledge, their friends will explore what you have to offer, and you get new people knocking on your door, growing your business.
The scary part is, negative comments and experiences can also go a long way on social media. It can tarnish your company’s name and it may be very hard to clear away. You can turn this around if you stay on top of your accounts by responding to a negative in a way that turns it into a positive.
One example would be to reply with an offer of how to make it a better buyer’s experience. “I’m sorry that you are unhappy. What can we do to make it better?” It may not eliminate the negative, but it will show that you are interested in your customer’s needs and strive to satisfy them.
A Better Reason to Use Social Media
The beauty of social media is that virtually everyone has an account. Much the same as a potential buyer can look you up, you have the option to look them up. Let’s imagine you are hiring a new office manager and you have a long list of potential interviews coming up. You can look over their resume and invite them in for the interview. You have only a few minutes to decide if they are the best fit for your company. How confident are you?
In an interview, a person will put on nice clothes and their prettiest smile. They will reveal only what they need to reveal in order to convince you they are worthy of the job. Its nothing against them. Everyone who has ever applied for a job has done the same thing. Perhaps even you at some point in your career.
You can take a sneak peek into their life by performing a social media check. It works the same way as traditional background checks that allow you to see criminal records, drug tests, and credit reports, but more.
By screening potential employees and current ones, you can learn about the attitudes that they do not show you.
What a Social Media Check Can Reveal
According to Singapore’s Employment and Labour Laws, employers can screen employees’ internet profiles and their social media activities as long as it is made publicly available. This means that you will not violate the Personal Data Protection Act if you look at comments, photographs, or other things if they are available on a web search or not marked as “private” or “friends only”.
This enables you, as the employer, to avoid hiring someone who:
- Posts photographs of themselves using illegal substances
- Brags about illegal activities
- Says derogatory remarks about coworkers at their previous job or about those in your workplace
- Makes frequent racist or discriminatory remarks
In short, you will be able to make sure that a potential employee has the same values that you and your company may have. This can protect you from dishonesty in the interview phase and beyond.
It can also help you feel confident that they are not somehow lowering your company’s respectability by engaging in things that you feel are not good. One example of this happened in the U.S. when a group of police was reported as posting racist comments on social media. The people of that community felt unsafe and the racist police were subsequently fired.
No one area or business is exempt from the possibility. A little closer to home, a PR at a local company was fired after making racist comments as well. As a business owner, you must protect yourself in whatever way you can, legally.
Understand Your Obligations
Most people do not realize that their social media can be viewed by potential employers. Therefore, they post all types of information. Some of it should never be used by you to decide if they are worthy of employment. Examples of this type of information include:
- Sexual Orientation
This type of information is protected by certain laws and if you refuse to hire based on it, then you may be accused of discrimination. This would not be good for you or your business.
Protect Yourself with Social Media Background Checks
Approximately 75% of businesses in Singapore use social media in some way when hiring employees. Most are looking for dishonesty or previous employment issues that were shared.
Whether you are a business or an individual, you can protect yourself with Social Media checks. Simply put in a search for your name on any search engine and see what comes up. If you have posted publicly on social media of any kind, they will show up there. Anything you wish to hide should be marked as private or deleted if possible. The same is true for images that you may have shared.
A business can benefit by making better-informed hiring decisions. You will be more able to avoid hiring people with a drug habit or who have a history of negative behavior in the workplace.
Know Your Rights
You have the right to a lot of public information on a potential employee. However, there are still some things that you cannot legally base a hiring decision on. Therefore, you may want to consider hiring someone when doing a social media background check. It will prevent you from focusing on anything that could sway your hiring decisions unfairly.
The person doing the check should be unbiased and uninvolved in the hiring process, since they may see some of the information that is protected by discrimination laws. Their report can talk about the applicant or employee’s career objectives, professional credentials, maturity, judgment, and other potential red flags that could indicate a bad employee.
At Talent Capital Consulting. we know what information should be a part of the hiring decision and what is irrelevant according to the Personal Data Protection Act. Before you hire, we can help you make sure you do it in the best way possible for your company.