Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at the possible implications of a bad hire. We began by exploring financial consequences, and also considered threats to workplace safety. Today we’ll complete the series by focusing on the impact that bad hires can have on your company’s brand reputation.
Social media posts can lead to bad publicity
Brand reputation is more important these days than ever before. A company with a negative image may experience disgruntled clients and decreased revenue. In addition, unfavorable brand reputation can be detrimental when it comes to recruiting job candidates. One 2013 survey found that 69% of Americans would not accept a job with a company who had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed.
In the digital age, dissatisfied consumers can use social media to rapidly spread negative opinions. There have been numerous instances where a company received bad publicity in the press because of an employee’s social media posts.
Over the summer, Bank of America came under fire because of an employee’s derogatory Facebook post. Christine McMullen Lindgren spewed racist language towards African Americans and called for people to “go back to Africa.” Her Facebook profile indicated that she worked at Bank of America, and it didn’t take long for her post to spread across the internet.
A spokesman for Bank of America stated that the bank received “thousands of comments calling out the hateful employee through social media and complaints over the phone.” The following screenshot represents just a handful of tweets that Twitter users posted after the employee’s Facebook post came to light.
A few days later, Bank of America released a statement saying that the employee had been terminated. Despite their eventual action, for many of their clients it was too late. Several Twitter users indicated that the employee’s Facebook post changed the way that they viewed Bank of America. Many clients made the decision to switch banks altogether.
Using social media background screening to protect brand reputation
As the previous example shows, all it takes is one social media post to damage a company’s brand reputation. It can be difficult for an organization to rebound after there is a negative perception already out there. One of the best ways to protect brand reputation is to conduct a social media search on prospective employees prior to hiring them. Social media background checks can reveal whether a candidate has a history of posting sexually explicit, racist, unlawful, or violent material online. This data will help you make a more informed hiring decision. That way you can ensure that everyone you hire shares your company values.
Contributing author: Caitlin Rogers