Join Kyle and Molly as they discuss the prevalence of social media in the hiring process, and how to navigate this fun (and not so fun) topic! Bianca Lager is the President at Social Intelligence. Social Intelligence screens publicly offered social media profiles for employers.
Social Intel screens over 20 million websites annually, serving more than 400 global clients. Bianca leads a team of 20 in Santa Barbara, California. Bianca obtained an MBA from Pepperdine University with a concentration in Dispute Resolution and is a LinkedIn Learning Instructor.
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It is one that most clients of ours and employers in general don't want to take on or build from scratch, right? They don't want to reinvent the wheel and they also don't want to have endless meetings about what is important to us.Kyle Roed:
This is the rebel HR podcast. If you're a professional looking for innovative thought provoking information in the world of human resources, this is the right podcast for you. Rebel on HR rebels. Right rebel HR listeners, I'm super pumped for today's discussion with Bianca lager. She is the President at social intelligence, social intelligence screens publicly offered social media profiles for employers, they've screened over 20 million websites annually, serving more than 400 Global clients. I am extremely interested to learn more about this service. So Bianca, welcome to the show. Thank you so much, Kyle, happy to be here. And, as always, we have our wonderful co host, Molly, who's going to ask all of the good questions while I do color commentary. Welcome. Hey, Kyle, appreciate you. Well, Bianca, thank you so much for joining us today. And I think one of the questions is top of mind is, first of all, why don't you just tell us a little bit about social intelligence? And how it works?Bianca Lager:
Yeah, so I think most people are surprised to know that we've actually been doing this since 2010. So going on 11 years now. And it's not new. As you know, sport Wow, big big newsflash here. 2010 was a different total landscape though and social media world than it is now. So certainly, then, and really, the concept behind how the company was founded was this idea that, gosh, like, I you know, your boss really shouldn't be looking at your Facebook or Google, he knew or, you know, looking at your internet profiles and creating a narrative about you, however, that urge by employers to do so that need to kind of get a further reference ascertain if you can trust this person, see if they'd be a coach for all those kinds of things. Like, those are very real things. So you know, we kind of started asking the questions of like, how could we do this in a better way that actually meets that risk concept, that trust concept that employers are curious about, but that doesn't let your employer see information that at best is another business, and at worst, violates potentially your protected class information or couldn't bias them against you? in a number of ways. So that was the concept. And that's what we've been doing for 11 years.Kyle Roed:
Fascinating, so. So I just want to recap, make sure that I heard you Right, so I'm not supposed to go out and start trolling, prospective new hires Facebook page randomly?Bianca Lager:
Well, look, I mean, you know, is Mark Zuckerberg hovering over your shoulder? Or anyone the Facebook police telling you not to know, you know, not really? Could you do it on the slide? Most be? I mean, we have our keyboards all day, there it is. It's really tempting, it's really easy to do it. However, it's not that What are you doing? What are you really accomplishing by doing that? And, first of all, is that what you get paid to do all day? I think I think most people ask that question. It's a rabbit hole, right? Like one minute you're like, I'm gonna check this out. And then you're looking at vacation photos or Pinterest ideas, like we've all done it. That's how it goes. But it truly like ensue in all seriousness to that exactly the problem, right, is that you what consistency, what factors? What is it that you are using as criteria in terms of your review of this candidates information? How are you defining those things? Are you looking only on one platform? Do you have the right john smith? There's all of these questions right that come up. So what it equates to really is that if you are an HR person, a person running your own business, HR department at one eight HR department have several and you are tasked with or you think it's a good idea. You know, it The internet is a very large place. It is a very complicated place. And it's an inefficient use of your time and company resources, and potentially opens yourself and your company up to legal risk in terms of creating bias and potentially the decisions that you make from that because it's inconsistent because it's not documented because there's no really no policy to back it up and you're kind of just winging it. You know, is it actually leading to business outcomes that matter for your company or for your I'm making an impact at your organization.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely. And I just I look at that from a, you know, from an implicit bias standpoint as well. You potentially could be assuming something about somebody based upon the political affiliation, you know, if they're wearing the wearing Trump 20, you know, 2024 hat or, or, you know, no masks, you know, no, jeans, bide mine. You know, yeah. I mean, there's so much out at the bar, you know, maybe not at the bar doing other illicit activities. And who knows, who knows, right. So it's, quite frankly, from my standpoint, I buy kind of, like, don't want to know, until a certain point. But to your to your last point that you just made, if there are things that are concerning and somebodies in somebody's background, that could be detrimental to business impact to the business. You know, we probably should have some level of screening mechanisms. So So how does your organization kind of look at that, and make sure that the the report is objective and applicable to the organization?Bianca Lager:
Yeah, yeah. And you're exactly right. I mean, I always say you should have a healthy fear of this data and have this. So you should kind of have a healthy instinct to Kerner below. It, but you know, the way things are, especially in today's society with, you know, the viral tweets, the capital, riots, all sorts of things that change and movements, political, online and offline. It's sort of forcing companies hands to address this stuff. And the concept really is I googled this guy, you didn't Google this guy, you hired him, I googled them. Look what I found. And as you and I and Molly, we all know, isn't that simple? And yeah, so the here No, see no speak, no concept of like, I'm just not going to know, it just doesn't really work. It's not good enough, and it's not going to get the job done. So yeah. You know, how do you address all those problems? And, you know, social intelligence, his approach is, is well, and soon after we launched an important point, as in 2010, we're like social media reports. Let's do it, you know, and the Federal Trade Commission, who at the time was tasked with the main agency tasked with consumer privacy and protection, came knocking on our door and literally did an audit, looked under the hood of social intelligence and said, Oh, social media data and employment. Isn't this interesting. Let's see what you all do and how you're doing this and how you are monetizing this. And as one does when welcomes them in and certainly we see, you know, a lot of lawyers fees later, went through a lot with making sure that our i's are dotted and T's are crossed. And what that really meant is, and if you google social intelligence, and FTC, their opinion letter comes out of it. And it says, basically, social intelligence is acting like a consumer reporting agency. So just like a criminal background, check, credit report, all of this kind of stuff. They're following the rules, we reserve the right check back on you later. And so that's really the answer, right? The answer really, is that how do you do this? Well, you formalize it in a proper background screening way. So you, we become a background screening agency, we are subject to FCRA. And all those same rules or regulations at any other type of background screen is. And that's really another solid point here, too, right? Could you go down to the county yourself and pull a criminal record? Sure. Is there a lot of things you need to think about for that? And again, efficient use of your time and all sorts of stuff? Yes. So, you know, CRS consumer reporting agencies generally help you through that process, both from an efficiency and thoroughness, perspective, and accuracy perspective? And then the legal perspective of making sure you have the proper disclosures and authorizations that you there's a dispute process, should somebody have a problem with the information? And that's really important. And a question I get all the time too, is like, the whole It wasn't me of it all. You know, I was hacked, whatever it is, you know, when you do have a formalized process where you're using a third party, you're using a background screening company to obtain social media data? Well, there's a process for that candidate, that consumer that employee choose to dispute it and to say, Hey, you know, this might not be accurate and as a consumer reporting agency, social intelligence has very high accuracy standards, and a my have, you know, regulations and all those kinds of same things that apply to other background screens? So, you know, you know, the answer really is like, how do you do it? How do you know? It's, it's you got you there, you have to understand what the rules are. And luckily, that FTC audit really laid that out. And it's unusual for consumer reporting agency to go through that and survive it. So. So it makes things really simple as an answer to say, Well, how does this work? Well, it's a background check.Kyle Roed:
Interesting. Yeah. So there's a so they sign all the FCRA paperwork, there's disclosure upfront, there's an agreement, and then there's appeal rights on the back end?Bianca Lager:
Yes, yeah. And then they have they give you access to all of their social media accounts? No, no, that's not even part of the PII or the process. So if you imagine it from an operational perspective of an HR, it's very similar to another background screen. So depending on who your vendor is, sometimes the vendor and you can imagine that you're like, Oh, I need, you know, Kyle's background screen. And so the background screener will send an email to Kyle, and he fills in his information, right. And you come back and you've selected their portal and you say, I want to criminal I want to this, I want to that whatever. Social media essentially is on the checklist. And so, you know, before if you if it's not on your checklist, ask your provider, you know, if if it is or could be, but anyway, that's the same concept, right? And so it's not different. Generally, the personal identifying information that is sent to us is really similar to what is in a criminal or like an employment or education verification. So essentially, it's email address, name, location, where are you in the world? Who are you? john smith in Los Angeles isn't going to get us very far. So email address, education, history, employment history, prior known addresses, those are the things that people share online. Those are the things that people say, so be because of integrations because of asking candidates for the candidate experience for kind of too much information. We're really not at the point yet where we're like, give me all your handles, so we can check it out. That and there's actually 26 states in the US right now, that from an employer's perspective, they don't want employers collecting that information or, or suggesting or requiring that they gain access directly to especially private accounts. What was happening a couple years back is in interviews, employers were literally turning the laptop around and saying, login to your Facebook. I'm gonna go ahead and check it out. Read your DMS or whatever, right? Yeah, I go. Could you imagine like Creek doing that? Like, I don't know. Yeah. So anyway, so there's 26 states and their laws are all pretty similar. And they basically say, like, yeah, don't do that, please. Right. And so the concept is really like, the employers healthy distance from that information. So anyway, all that being said, you know, we're not even asking people for their handles, we're asking people for their basic information that you would supply in any other background check. And then what social intelligence, like the way it works, technically, is that we use that information to find where you live online, to find your online footprint. Sometimes he will provide handles, sometimes we have them, especially in like entertainment kind of clients that we have, like those things are pretty, you know, that that's like part of the deal. So you know, those that stuff is offered up, but most of the time it isn't. And so what we do is use those as identifying factors to match and find people where they live online, as you can imagine, to if we only relied on supplied handles. You know, I don't know how many people forgive their right answer there.Kyle Roed:
will be a good employee. Yeah, yeah. Here is my perfect profile. You know,Molly Burdess:
that's not gonna be a thing. A lot of people have more their, you know, their family and their mom and dad. See, and then the real one, right, yeah, no.Bianca Lager:
Yeah. It just seems like so much work. I know, the double life. Oh, I'm exhausted.Molly Burdess:
So if I wanted to keep everything locked down, what does that mean? Would it be able to find me?Bianca Lager:
Yeah, that's exactly right. So you know, that's sort of a past check here of You look like you're using the internet as responsible as possible. It also was the limitation of how much diligence an employer can really do. And again, goes back to those privacy and state laws, you do have a right to privacy, right, you do have a right to keep some of that stuff, you know, as private as possible. And as we advise our clients, if somebody is taking that step to do that, well, again, where your diligence ended also where your risk really does get mitigated. Because if when if your co workers or clients can't find that stuff. And in a court of law, it's like, why didn't you find this? Well, it was it was unavailable. To me, that's a very different story. Right. So it's a legally defensible sort of border of where employers can draw the line and say, look like, you know, this isn't a private investigation, we're not going after IP addresses and trying to find you on the dark web and every little corner of the earth. You could take that scorched earth, you know, approach and I don't know that it is going to be cost efficient, nor sort of feasible to do on every single employee. Nor would is it really, most people aren't going to have that adverse or kind of the secret Dark World History. What social intelligence solves, and the problem really is, is Yeah, the kind of? Well, I mean, there's a lot of words, I can say that would be very judgmental, but I'll say like, less than good judgment in your public sphere, where people are sharing stuff that Yeah, your clients can Google your other employees can Google it's, it's stuff that is out there and is clearly, you know, gonna be problematic, both from an external and an internal perspective. So the privacy stuff is actually rarer than people think, though. Only about 1% of the time do we find an individual like we cannot identify them online? Sometimes that happens, because we just don't have enough PII, we just haven't had enough. You know, whatever. What does happen is that sometimes we'll find them online. But yeah, you know, Twitter's on enough Instagrams on enough. So we can find that profile, but we don't see any content. Facebook is more complicated. LinkedIn is more complicated, every single thing that you post, or every piece of information about you has different privacy settings. So for the most part, we identify about four to six profiles that we can identify publicly online per person, on average, but there is a hodgepodge of security and privacy settings there. And somebody might have a locked down Facebook, or Instagram, but their Facebook is a little you know, so you can imagine there's sort of a, there's sort of a hodgepodge with every single person. And a lot of times I mean, you know, if you think about it, a lot of reasons people are sharing is to share is to gain audiences is to even monetize it or gain attention in some way. So the narcissism of it all don't don't count it out.Molly Burdess:
So the criteria that you're looking for are whenever you're looking for having a creative formula, is it you know, the new employer have any say of what they're looking for? How did you how does that formula get created?Bianca Lager:
Yeah, great question. It is one that most clients of ours and employers in general, don't want to take on or build from scratch, right? They don't want to reinvent the wheel. And they also don't want to have endless meetings about what is important to us. So from the get go, we've narrowed in on what we kind of call categories or content categories, buckets of information that are fairly universal to most employers. And then from there, we allow them to customize it, or if they have this kind of customized concept of very specific behavior that they are looking for. What's important to us and to the employer is that those things are really well legally defined. And that can be something that we can narrow down really well, from social media. So for example, the four sort of universal ones that most people use is sexually explicit content, potentially illegal content, potentially violent content, and examples or demonstrations of intolerance, which is a very broad category. You, you know, right. And again, if you're doing that yourself, and you're thinking, Okay, those four, you could start there, right, like, define, it's a great start, define what it is that is important to your organization, what flies and what doesn't, and they're complicated even with like drugs, does marijuana matter to your organization? Some companies don't. So there's nuances certainly within there, in terms of hate speech and in terms of intolerance. Very difficult, right? It is, it is not easy for, certainly, you know, Debbie, and HR to be tasked with googling around and try to Ah, you know, see if this person is intolerant. Okay. Well, what does Debbie think is intolerant, right? That's really what I got to come down to. And same thing with social intelligence. And so especially in the past two years, but I've been then in the past year, we were kind of glad we really had our stuff together with all this stuff. It which is to say we'd need a better system of documentation of how these kinds of activities defined. So what we built is something that we're very proud of what we call the social intelligence and tolerance database. And what that is, is we cite a number of sources. So, CIA, the FBI, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the anti defamation league organizations, and law enforcement agencies that are tasked with defining terrorist groups, hate groups, hate symbols, hate speech, what those things are, so that when we find content, and we can help narrow down on content based on those definitions, and then when we report it back on the on the report, say, you know, this person has followed several of these groups, and these groups are defined by this organization as a terrorist group. So there's no willy nilly to say about it, right, this hate symbol, it's considered a hate symbol defined by this organization. This is just social intelligence being like, Oh, we don't like that word. This is really, you know, about documenting very carefully and putting in back to a credible evidentiary source to say, you know, this is how this works, so that you can make a decision, you know, go the adverse action route, you could talk to the client, we always talk about teachable moments, some of these hate groups, and this stuff like this on Facebook's beautiful, very sneaky names. They're not what you think, right? And so you know, you're doing it yourself, you're never gonna recognize that number one. And number two, you might not even know as the person who followed it, that that's what the group is all about, necessarily, right? Most of their content will become very clear, but from a quick like, or whatever, you might not, you know, kind of catch on to that. So that's why we try to give as much context as possible, you know, did they just like or follow this? How is it defined by which organization so that you can see if there's a pattern of behavior? Or if it is something that is sort of looks kind of random? That maybe you need to talk to us first and be like, did you? Are you aware, you know, this is happening. So, so it's, it's complex, but again, when you are tasked with being an expert, and in this field, and you This is our job, right is to find, figure out what these behaviors are, what they mean, define them very, very carefully, and the document that really well on the report, and make sure that those things are consistent, you know, in the in the results.Molly Burdess:
So as an employer, I put this person through a social media check. Do I get like the full details of Okay, what they posted? Here's a screenshot, here's what they like, like, do I get all of that broken down? Or is it just this incident? Like, what does that look like?Bianca Lager:
Yeah, so it does, right. And so our report is designed very much like a criminal background check. Right? If there's a crime, so to speak, it goes in the report? If not, there's nothing to see here, folks. Right. So it's very, it's of the moment it's whatever with the time that we did the report, what was reflected out there in the public sphere. And so if there is a flag or hit that that is falls under one of those categories. We organize it by what platform it was on, give you the year it was was it a like Was it a share? Was it original content, and then actually include a screenshot of what that was. And so here's what people don't want, here's what employers don't want, they don't want 150 pages of the same thing over and over again, okay? Like This isn't like someone using the F word 200 times and then getting a screenshot of that, because that's not useful, questionable, if that's even actionable. That's also a waste of people's time to review this kind of stuff. So what we do try to include, as a summary to say, here is the flags that we found, here's the places where we found them. And here's also places on the unit, we found them where there were no flags, but you're not going to get at the beginning of our company. There was interest in like, Why just want to see what it looks like. So we would literally send people screenshots and stuff and kind of have interactive graphics on our site, with just like, this is my Facebook, and after a while, and certainly now, nobody cares, right? Nobody wants to say I don't need to see you and your dog like we're good. We understand like, if you have a fairly innocuous Facebook, I don't need to see an example of that, right? Like it's it just to prove that you have a Facebook. So what what we try to focus the report on is choose to be only those flags or hit factors. So a screenshot is only included if there is potentially adverse information, all those definitions, everything there. However, we do take a very unique an extra step that if within that screenshot within that, whatever it is, if that person's exposing Their own protected class information, then that part is redacted from the screenshot of the report. So for example, I talked about what church I go to, and then later I use the N word in the same statement, well, we're not going to share with you, although the unredacted images are available on our platform. You know, first and foremost, your, you know, we're trying to make sure that we are not creating bias to say, you know, you just don't like the church, this guy goes to not because of the actual intolerant, you know, statement that he made. So, so yeah, so So the answer is, yeah, you'll you'll, you'll see screenshots if there is potentially adverse action. And, you know, try to keep it concise, and as actionable as possible is our goal.Kyle Roed:
Interesting. So I'm just fascinated about this, this definition of intolerance. Because that's, like, such a great, that is such a great example of why HR is so not black and white. So do organizations have the ability to define intolerance, and the things that they consider to be intolerant?Bianca Lager:
Sure, but most people don't, um, I think that like, that is taking it to levels that might actually become problematic later, you know, um, so that and like, I nobody got time for that, right. So they, what they do is like, look at our definitions, feel confident, and whatever it is, certainly, they have the opportunity, if there's something that feels off, they don't ever think that, you know, a certain hate symbol is a problem or something like that. Sure, you know, we could, we could change whatever it is that we need to for the client, especially within tolerance, keeping it sort of broad and keeping those definitions, I think people just really feel confident in the idea of how we're interpreting human behavior, I suppose. And how we are defining those things to be as consistent as possible. That and yeah, I think that people just don't want to step on hot water there and just say, Well, you know, to us, this isn't Hey, so we're just going to skip it. And it's like, well, I assure your clients think that are you sure, you know, that's good, do yeah. And And not only that, but like, you know, what does that mean to your employees? What? If so, what do your employees agree with that, you know, are that gonna make them feel safe? So it's, that's probably makes things much easier. And so, you know, we really do try to give them something that is consistent and has been applied successfully already has been tested out there in the market in the world. And I think at the end of the day, whenever we're looking for vendors or looking for things, that's what we want to know, how do you know, what are the people doing? Are they doing this successfully? Does this work? And for the most part, I think that's the way to go.Kyle Roed:
So what about like, what about like, risky behavior? Like So? So, so if somebody is like, like, posting all this stuff, of like, like a Phish concert at Red Rocks, and you just know, that there's probably something related to marijuana occurring there? like is that like, is like is the fish concert posts is that risky behavior is not going to get a flag.Bianca Lager:
It's not enough. I mean, so yeah, we're like, well, this band likes marijuana. They were there. You know, that's, that's a little too many degrees of separation. No, and that's very important, too. That's a good point, though. It's like, it doesn't have to be a picture of them interacting with marijuana, right? Or they've shared of their joint of their, you know, whatever it is here, like, like, you know, that'd be like this.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, right. Like turret, high at Phish concert wentBianca Lager:
in to be very weird to be very clear. That's kind of how people behave online. There's a psychology, the sociology kind of thinking, like, that's what they're, they're like, look at me, my drugs. Look at me, and I love my drugs, you know, the potentially illegal stuff. Look at me, I just stole this stuff. I'm so like, haha, you know? And so that's the mindset, and that's the behavior. And that's really the way and then of course, that comes into like, that's gonna be a problem, maybe for your boss. So, so that's exactly right. I mean, it's, you know, the proximity or, you know, people talk about this a lot like the red solo cup at a party. Okay, I mean, I mean, and I say this with all seriousness, even though I'm like, trying to be funny a little bit. You're you. nobody really cares about how many glasses of wine you had last night, right? If you're a legal age, right? If you're not a legal age, that might be another problem and another issue, and we actually do have a filter for that as well. under age illegal drinking, but what we found from our clients and their behavior for the most part is that like, you know, excessive drinking, it's rare kind of more customization problem for employers necessarily in certain specific but by and large, the idea isn't that like, this guy goes out too much in parties, the idea is really like that what how does that affect your illegal behavior? Now? Are you holding your beer and driving? Okay, different set of risk factors for a number of reasons, right. But, you know, simply like being at a conference and holding a glass of wine or something like that this isn't necessarily, you know, and that also goes back to like, this isn't just an algorithm that's going to say, drinking, that's bad. And then pop up pop, here's a bunch of pictures of you at conferences or whatever, with colleagues, or, you know, your, your birthday party or something. So it's really about context of like, what is this behavior in terms of a risk profile and the context of how you're doing it as a whole, rather than, you know, a command F of of, you know, whatever behavior there is out there?Kyle Roed:
Bianca, that's a really good reminder. So for any HR protection practitioners listening right now, don't post on social media at any HR conferences will not end well for you. That's not true. No, you've never been to an HR conference. Oh, I have been. I have been to many, many, many. You know,Bianca Lager:
I'll say this in terms of how industries go, I think we're okay there at HR conferences, like, we're gonna yo people do you have their fun, but you know, where, you know, I come from a world of looking at, to be honest, there's some pretty extreme stuff that people put on social media. And so, you know, by and large, most folks in HR, have the responsibility head on most of the day, you know, it most of the time, that's kind of their, their stick. And so, a lot of times, like, you know, with when you're executing this program, it is kind of mind boggling. And then the question always comes, yeah, but privacy settings, come on? Well, yes. That's how a responsible person sort of thinks about this stuff. That's a responsible person sort of thinks about like, well, I wouldn't just expose that. But if you don't have that mindset, that's not what is going to reflect on your online profile. Okay, drink up, drink up at those conferences, don't listen toMolly Burdess:
our conference and doing something super inappropriate. say we have a joint in our hands, we would, but let's just say we were you were, or this employer was running this check on Kyle. We took a picture together, I was tagged in the photo with that employer also see me even though like I didn't find anything, you know, I'm not the subject.Bianca Lager:
Yeah, there's so many. I mean, there's so many, like scenario questions that you could go through. But besides getting the stink eye, probably from other people around you in that photo, I would say that, like, you know, if if we are tasked with doing Kyle's background check, then we will only see it if it's visible on Kyle's profile. Right? So there are photos of him that we you know, available. And so that that picture may or may not include you for the most part, we try to just focus in on the actual subject of the report. But it's sort of so it's sort of inconsequential, necessarily, that whether or not no one would know who you are, if we're doing the report on you. And it was, you know, the same idea applies, right, like, if it's Kyle's photo, but then he tagged you on it, we can only see it if it's available through your profile. And it's public, and we're able to see and all that kind of stuff. So you know, potentially, yeah, there's a tag situation there that you might want to consider. Because if it is available, Facebook, that's an easy thing to you tag somebody is available on their profile. But it really is about the person that we're doing. So then we're not going okay, Molly, let's look at all of her photos. You know, it has nothing to do with Kyle and his employment at that. You know, that company? So weMolly Burdess:
should see reasons for sticking? Yeah. Like, I'm in retail, so I hire a lot of people's friends. Yeah, for roles in that type of thing. So that's where my mind was. So I've done quite a bit about my current employees to this as well. Yeah, sure. CouldBianca Lager:
you like you're like, Oh, I also know, you know, they are there they are. It could happen. I mean, in theory, really, but yeah, our approach is really to try to like to try to focus in on that the subject and the subject alone. That makes sense. In that scenario Kyle's up, correct?Kyle Roed:
Well, I think if we've established anything during this discussion, it's that Kyle is a bad influence. Stay away. You're just out there causing trouble. That's right. This is so fascinating, right? So what are you giving me grief on the podcast photo? Again? I am. Yeah, they're out there. Sorry about that bad behaviors written all over it. It does. But But even the term rebel HR is oxymoronic, right? Because really, I mean, come on. It's it's Yeah. I mean, we're rebellious to to an extent with boundaries. All right. So one thing I do want to I want to highlight the scenario that actually happened to me, in a previous employer. And this type of screening is really fascinating, because it's actually how we accidentally discovered that we had a serious issue. So we had hired an individual in a management position. And great resume, you know, great, great, great background check, we did a formal background check. And then the first day when they started, one of the employees at that location, Google them. And the Google search turned up a number of concerning things, including the fact that they had been charged for identity theft, and come to find out, that was legit. And the person who was sitting in that seat was not the person who had the background check. It had we done a full social media check, you know, it, we would have identified that because it was as simple as someone googling this person, and having, you know, enough detective skills to say this picture matches. And, and that was that and so, so wild,Molly Burdess:
is the same thing happen. Probably more than we would like toBianca Lager:
really older people just absolutely been like, i'm, i'm john doe, not john smith, like that's me.Molly Burdess:
Maybe not even necessarily like shady places. But yeah, just like things that have that have come up. Yeah,Bianca Lager:
yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, I mean, I hear that every day. Pretty much. Wow, that's a that's an interesting one, though. But yeah, I mean,Kyle Roed:
I, this is true. We call the US Marshal, because there was an outstanding warrant for their arrest. And they were arrested. Yeah, in the custody.Bianca Lager:
Truly. Yeah. No, that's, that's a that's a hell of a day at work. I'll say that.Kyle Roed:
But a beer in my hand and that so?Bianca Lager:
Yeah, sure. No, I mean, look, that's that's it, right? I mean, why didn't you go to that guy, it comes back again, over and over again, that and, you know, another common story I hear is, and one, like, tagline that I heard at an HR conference once was, it started online and, and it bled into the workplace, or it started in the workplace and ended up online. And that's, you know, these tasks, especially in HR, you're kind of dealing with now is that you're like, Okay, now I'm looking at this guy's DMS, or these, you know, I'm getting a complaint about bullying, you know, on social media or whatever. So it's not just contained anymore to whatever we see in the cubicle. And again, that kind of idea of like, here, no, see no, speak. No, it's just, it's just not good enough, right. It's just not good enough to say and, you know, hey, are is there actual other legal, you know, criminal risk there that you would otherwise not necessarily know, some folks are smart enough to know how to skirt around background checks, like you said, and so there is something that can be said for ascertaining information about somebody just by seeing what their online life is, like,Molly Burdess:
here's the real challenges I've been dealing with in the last year is, you know, I hire someone, and then I've got a couple of colored associate black individuals, we hired this person, they start looking at each other on Facebook, and this person outwardly says they don't believe and Black Lives Matter, you know, and all that stuff. But then this person is like, why would you hire this person? I'm feeling very uncomfortable. Did you see what was on his social media? Blah, blah, blah. So those are the things that I have definitely been dealing with this past year.Bianca Lager:
Yeah, you know, it's funny, it's, it's, I it's very real, right. It's very real to to mitigate those things and know when that person's, you know, conversations online are crossing the line. Both For the individual who's offended and by the offender, right? Because, you know, to kind of say like, you know, where does this company stand on? on an issue? Well, you know, you know, sometimes it, you know, if he is just sort of saying, I don't believe in this, does it in there? Or does it not end there? You know, is there actually more to what he's saying and more content that he's producing? That is absolutely crossing the line? And then where does that policy in your own organization reflect to say, and here's, you know, the line so that you can have a conversation with parties to say, listen, a Fender, you know, so to speak. This is specifically, you know, the problem that we're going to have here, and hey, you know, person who's offended? He hasn't crossed that line yet? Or, you know, yes, we have crossed the line, here's what we're doing about it. So, yeah, you know, I mean, it does affect productivity, toxic workplace environments, all this kind of stuff. These are very real things are very real emotions that people are feeling. They're very real feeders, and they absolutely affect how people are doing their jobs and how people can be productive at work. And when you are in the business, as we all are of maintaining and having high performing teams, you know, it's something that has to be dealt with. So, you know, I always can emphasize more of that consistency in the policy around it, just so that, you know, which HR is very good at to, you know, to have I mean, that's the name of the game, right? It's like, is having these things well documented, so that, you know, you're like, oh, Lord, what am I gonna do? I don't know, you know, like, this is this is tough, but to say, okay, you know, listen, when he crosses this line, or as he has, now, this is something that we have to do about it.Molly Burdess:
job security this past year.Bianca Lager:
For a million reasons. I mean, that's just one small example. But HR has been like the star of the show. Oh, my God. Hey, you know, much, much deserved after a long time, you know, a long time coming, but, you know, getting people into remote work places like how companies are going to handle you know, communication, and then of course, coming back to work now, a whole other ballgame. You got y'all very busy. So, you know, I, you know, we are a remote company, primarily they are, we have employees, mostly in California, but Texas in New York as well. And so, to have to have that I don't face that struggle currently. So hats, hats off to y'all toKyle Roed:
wherever you there, easy, it's, it's, it's been such a Yeah, so everybody HR is this last year? It's like the first HR conference that's in person tell you it's gonna be the skin of dawn maybe. Well, Bianca, this has been such a fascinating conversation and, and really interesting work. And, you know, and, you know, kudos to you and your team for going to the dark side of social media profiles. I mean, that I don't know if I'd wish that on my greatest enemy, but you're doing your work.Bianca Lager:
Yeah, I you know, I resonate with that we had to call the Marshall story. Let's just say it's, it's happened, you know, more than once around here where there's like, Okay, this is not as bad as beyond Yeah, this is beyond so. Yeah, call the authorities. Yes, bad. Yes. Yes, indeed. And hope and pray that they can do something about it. Yeah.Kyle Roed:
Yeah. All right. We're gonna shift gears and we're gonna go into the rebel HR flash round. Question number one. What is your favorite people book? Oh, people buck.Bianca Lager:
Gosh, I'm so well. Does this count? I'm freezing right now. Probably does not count. But I'm so in this headspace. I have a toddler. And I'm reading one of these, like, how to discipline your toddler without losing your mind kind of stuff.Kyle Roed:
And if you figure it out, you let me know because my last many years ago with that?Bianca Lager:
Yeah. I was telling somebody else about that. Recently. I was like, well, I like a lot of fantasy right now. I'm reading this. They're like, Oh, well, that's fantasy too.Kyle Roed:
So you're into you're into fiction. All right. Yeah, right. Right. Right. Exactly. All right. Perfect. Question number two, Who should we be listening to?Bianca Lager:
Um, my instinct to answer this question is yourself. But I also understand, you know, it's like, Whoa, what are we What are you gonna learn? You know what I think? And it goes along the tracks with like, the fantasy ness of it all. take a breather. Sometimes there We're in this space where it's like I'm learning, learning, learning productive, my tips, the best practices this and that, you know, take a break, like, you know, if they're getting let the creative juices flow. And I think over the past year, if anything, I think some of us have learned I certainly have that well slow it down, and this not But truly, you know, listen to a funny podcast, you know, as well as an important rebel HR one. But it takes some time to, to, to listen to funny books, or, you know, fantasy, if that's your stick like, I'm a big dork like that. To take your mind out of the bubble of of the grind all the time, I think is important to set some time every week to do that as well.Kyle Roed:
Well said, well said great advice. Last question, how can our listeners connect with you?Bianca Lager:
Oh, that is easy on social media guys, come on over. Guys, not to scare you know, yeah, on LinkedIn, certainly, and Twitter, but just come to the social intelligence website and blog. We share a lot of interesting angles and information, especially by industry. So depending on what industry you're in, sometimes we have really kind of clue Keaton advice and best tips or stories about what's going on in that industry. We are also offering podcast listeners a lifetime, which is really exciting discount of wholesale pricing. So if you go to contact us backslash, or I'm sorry, social Intel comm backslash podcast, we'll send you a free sample report. And should you want to pursue it? Well, we'll get you set up to have that discounted pricing. So say hi to me there and leave a little comment.Kyle Roed:
And we'll have all that information in our show notes. So check it out and, and and follow up. But really, really fascinating stuff. And I think sounds like something that could be helping out a lot of our a lot of our workplace challenges. So thank you so much, Bianca. Thanks, guys. Appreciate it. Molly. Kyle, you've been awesome. Thanks so much for the chat. Thanks. All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast. Maybe