Employment Verification on Social Media Can Prevent a Public Relations Nightmare

Sergei VolfBest Practices

Employees Fired Over Social Media

Social Media Posts Put Companies at Risk

What your employees say online directly impacts your business. In some cases, racist, sexist, or vulgar tweets can put employers in a difficult situation. Even personal social media accounts of employees can reflect on a company. When an employee tweets, posts, or shares inflammatory messages, it reflects poorly on an organization. For the most part, employer codes of conduct explicitly state rules surrounding social media. However, this does not always prevent users from sharing inflammatory opinions on social networking sites.

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One tweet can put an entire organization at risk of losing customers and value. So, how did one Cleveland Clinic doctor fly under the radar with anti-Semitic tweets for over five years? Employment verification is crucial to all businesses to ensure that your employees adhere to and represent the values of your organization.

Employment verification is defined as verifying the eligibility, past work experience, and education of a potential employee. This allows employers to verify their employees before offering a job, employing them, retaining them, and promoting them. Employers are not the only types of people who can benefit from verification. Universities can benefit from the service, too.

Who is Lara Kollab, and What Did She Do?

Lara Kollab was the most recent subject of the internet machine when the Canary Mission revealed her messages online. She soon found herself unemployed due to tweets she shared that contained anti-Sematic messages. Lara graduated with her bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University in 2013. She continued her education at New York’s Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The internet reacted quickly to her comments. Over 400 users went to a medical professional review site called Vitals and rated Kollab with one-star ratings. The Cleveland Clinic fired Kollab as a result of the post. Due to the backlash, Kollab deleted all of her social media profiles. However, nothing posted online is ever truly removed, and The Canary Mission preserved the tweets on their website. The tweets are too graphic to include on our site, but you can view them on the Canary Mission’s website.. With a verification service, Touro College could have examined her tweets and chose a different candidate for their medical school program.

The Biggest Social Media Faux Pas

Swiftly, the Cleveland Clinic responded with a statement that Lara’s beliefs are not held by the clinic. In most cases, an organization will state that their company does not stand behind the inflammatory messages of its employees. Here are several social media posts that landed employees in major trouble with their employers.Public social media posts are not the only concern of employers though, as workplace cyberbullying is on the rise, too. These are some of the biggest social media faux pas.

1. Connor Riley

In 2011, a young new hire at Cisco tweeted, “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” Within a day, a Cisco employee found her tweet and replied to her, “Who is the hiring manager? I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the Web.”

2. Nicole Crowther

The extra was featured on the popular Fox show Glee. In most cases, when you are an extra on a television show, you sign a non-disclosure agreement that explicitly states you will not post pictures, plots, or anything related to the show. Unfortunately for Nicole, her career at Glee ended when Glee’s producer Brad Falchuk fired her via the social media platform.

3. Gene Morphis

Venting about your job on social media is never a good idea, but it’s especially bad when you are the CFO of a company. Gene Morphis was the CFO of Francesca’s Holdings Corp and soon after, found himself unemployed.

4. Timothy DeLaGhetto

In 2009, this YouTuber, with now 3.9 million subscribers, was fired from California Pizza Kitchen when he tweeted his discontent over the uniform change. Once the pizza chain fired him, he replied with his own retort on social media. The video launched him to YouTube success and currently has 611,000 views on the online video service.

5. David Leavitt

Shortly after the 2017 Machester bombing at the Ariana Grande concert, writer David Leavitt shared an insensitive tweet. The tweet mocked the event and the singer. It did not take long for Twitter users, celebrities and the internet to find his employers and contact them with the tweets. At the time, Leavitt stated he worked for CBS. Internet sleuths tracked down the exact CBS location and bombarded them with requests for his immediate firing. CBS responded by saying that he had never worked for them.

A job title does not mean that they are exempt from being fired. High-level executives, deans, celebrities, officials, and everyday employees can find themselves in hot water due to their social media site behavior. A small device in our pocket connects to the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Yet with these small devices, comes the power to ruin your image and delay your professional career for years or even permanently.

Best Practices for Posting on Social Media

Before you decide to post, retweet, share, or comment, think about what you are saying. Within seconds someone can take a screenshot. Minutes after, the screenshot is shared to a Facebook group with hundreds of thousands of people, and within the hour, you’re the next viral sensation. It does not take long for Twitter users, Facebook users, or anyone else to be exposed. How can you avoid the backlash of social media? It’s simple; don’t share your opinion if you know it can cause that level of backlash.

Above are examples of posts that can get you fired from your job and put your reputation through a wood chipper. So, next time you think something is funny, or if you think it’s funny to troll with an insensitive comment, remember the consequences. Your next tweet could be the reason your boss calls you into their office and decides to let you go. In the examples above, it seems some people need to take Google’s online best practices course for school children.

Avoid a Social Media Public Relation Nightmare

Chances are the human resources department doesn’t have time to dig deep into someone’s social media accounts. This can lead to situations similar to Lara Kollabs happening. Employee verification is more than checking up to see if someone graduated from Harvard or developed products at Google. Employee Verification means that you take the time to observe and examine all behaviors of an employee and avoid the need to make a public statement apologizing for their behavior.

Are you curious about how you can avoid a public relations nightmare? Everyone can Google someone and find something about them, but what about the posts Google doesn’t notice? After several pages of searching, one might call it a day. SecureForensics performs a thorough investigation for any of our clients and their job candidates. Our digital forensics department will compile a report on the candidate in question and fill in any blanks and answer any questions you might have. We don’t leave any stones unturned in our search for the truth.

Start your investigation today. Contact us for a free phone consultation at 1-800-288-1407. Our award-winning customer service representatives will help find the perfect solution for you and verifying employment.