November 14, 2018  

How the World’s Top Companies Build a Social Media Screening Matrix

Social Media Screening Social Media Background Checks Recruiting

For many organizations, social media and online screening have become central to successful talent acquisition. Shown to identify high-risk behaviors and save some of the world’s biggest brands from the headlines you’ll never see, online screening has become a new frontier of employee risk management. However, it is often an entirely new part of the hiring process, and can introduce significant operational hurdles, especially if your company is hiring at scale.

While it’s possible to integrate online screening into your organization in just a few steps, it can also seem daunting when you’re just starting out. Identifying which behaviors pose a hiring risk and when to take further action on a report can already be challenging. Imagine doing this for every single person in a large enterprise and it becomes clear that when screening in high volumes, maintaining speed and quality are critical for recruiting and talent acquisition success.

How do you make sure that gathering and acting on this information doesn’t slow down your hiring process? The key is to help your organization create a digital screening workflow. It is an end-to-end, fully customized set of instructions that has helped countless Fortune 500 companies reduce logistical overhead and increase the quality of hires while screening candidates online.

How to build a social media screening matrix

The first step to implementing an end-to-end process is building an escalation matrix, a set of “sensitivity thresholds” for online behavior that help you prioritize who to review and what types of behaviors matter most. After specifying your search criteria based on your company’s key areas of risk, your team can set benchmarks for each job-relevant behavior. For example, if you are screening customer-facing retail employees for excessive use of inappropriate language, you can determine how many instances in a report would warrant further review by your team. Then, if a candidate exceeds that threshold, they are marked for further decision-making. In this way, building an escalation matrix saves time and removes guesswork from your process.

The next step is to map out an adjudicative workflow, a “decision tree” that offers clear parameters for action for each prospective or current employee you screen. Building on the criteria specified in the escalation matrix, an adjudicative workflow helps the reviewer know when to escalate a report for further review and decision-making, and when no further action is needed. It also helps reviewers apply the same criteria to each candidate your company is considering for a role. In doing so, the adjudicative workflow boosts operational efficiency in your hiring process while reducing the risk of subjective or biased decisions.

Every day, we hear about new ways that digital screening workflows are helping top companies overcome the operational risks and challenges of hiring at scale. A new customer recently shared that their talent acquisition team was feeling daunted by the prospect of implementing digital screening for over 200 hires each week. Shortly after building a screening workflow, the team reported a marked improvement in the quality of hires and a significant decrease in the number of incidents reported to HR. This is one of countless examples where a well-executed process can help companies mitigate risk, even when hiring in large quantities.

A fully effective digital screening program goes well beyond a candidate report or Google search—but with a bit of planning and oversight, you can smooth out the overall process, make more informed decisions, and help set your best hiring in motion.

Wendy Halson is the VP of Customer Success at Fama. With over 15 years of experience in client services, she has helped top brands, executive search firms and background screening providers implement successful social media and web screening programs.

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