We live in a society that likes to pride itself on its freedoms, and routinely uses those freedoms as a validation for our actions. Hate, violence, and intolerance, however, are not actions that are protected by this freedom. These behaviors do not bear any right in our culture.
It is no secret that extremist, regardless of political view, have taken advantage of their liberties, and promoted anger; all in the name of free speech. This realization came to a head on January 6, 2021, when an impassioned horde stormed the US Capitol in an aggressive invasion aimed directly at our government. While authorities are now tasked with deploying precious resources to rectify the damage done, a plethora of information has come to the surface.
Corporations are doing their best to combat the hatred from within their ranks. Many companies are terminating employees after photographic proof surfaces, solidifying the participation in the riots on that day. No one is safe either, even CEO’s have found themselves on the losing side of the battleground after their choice to express their freedom of speech turned malicious.
Social Media, Employers ally
The point here is, that employers have learned that the utilization of social media presents them with an abundant resource. By giving them a glimpse into the personal lives of employees, social media has risen to present itself as a formidable approach at analyzing existing, as well as potential new talent. All that being said, it is important to recognize the issue is not an attack on our civil liberties or beliefs, rather the notification that consequences emerge when an individual’s actions evolve from free speech to downright hate and intolerance.
An article published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) entitled “Employees May be Fired for Hate Speech in Social Media” outlines the employer’s right to terminate any employee who exercises their rights to the extent of hostility. While it is true that corporations have the ability to do so, it is important that they educate their staff on how to properly conduct themselves on social media.
Social Media and Traditional Background Screening
Now, learning about each other on social media certainly is not a new concept, and this movement wasn’t simply spurred on by recent events. It is, after all, human nature to be curious about anyone you meet, whether your investment in them is personal or professional. While we don’t argue that social media is a good medium for employers to research staff member lifestyles, the concern that we have is that there is no standardization of this process. Corporations need to collectively create a set of policies that are fair across the board. To achieve this, they should consider outsourcing to entities that are highly experienced in this type of process management. ACUTRAQ Background Screening Inc. now offers this solution at a very affordable price.
Unfortunately, most companies have been unwilling to take the first steps in the right direction, mainly because the right people weren’t asking for affirmative action. But the fact remains, that social media screening needs to be incorporated in the normal background screening process; as it is in fact a complementary tool and an excellent approach to unveiling an individual’s personality and potential contributions. As it becomes a more common occurrence, companies will eventually be forced to foster standardized regulation.