I was recently invited to attend two important trade group gatherings; The International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU) in New Orleans, LA and The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) in Orlando, FL. Despite these conferences taking place in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the overall mood at both events was extremely positive and focused on the opportunities and challenges of the coming year. Participants at these conferences continue to focus on the traditional course of business, but this year I observed a significant uptick around the importance placed on social media as a vital intelligence tool for business.
At IASIU, the nonprofit watchdog group working to combat fraud within the insurance industry, attendees were openly discussing wins and specific use cases where the review of social media as part of the investigative process helped to directly ferret out fraud in cases ranging from long term disability to workers comp and everything in between. I was also struck by the many instances in which long time customers shared stories about how claims agents really appreciated having social media reports to deepen their connections with customers.
Most interestingly, there was a noticeable shift toward business process based transactions with many attendees confirming that rules-based social media reports, especially when conducted early in the lifecycle of the claim, can deliver a ROI that far exceeds any other deliverable in the background investigation space. I believe most firms will operate this way in the future.
NAPBS members were very gracious at our first visit to their national trade show event. They showed a genuine interest in social media reports as many of their customers have been asking about them over the past year. The dedication of the membership to provide results within federal regulations for their clients is impressive.
The general world of the background screening industry is one of a high level of adhering to regulations to make sure that candidates for employment do not fail a battery of tests. We believe that the industry has keen insight on how to help their clients achieve better hiring results through their relationships with HR executive leadership teams. This is where we continue our push and educate around the use of social media reports not only for determining adverse action cases but much more importantly, to aid their clients in actually determining overall fit of a potential hire to the organization. Studies have definitively shown that a bad hire can cost an employer 2-3 times the cost of their salary. The impact that a review of a professionally prepared social media report can have to determine positive outcomes cannot be discounted.
It’s clear that no longer is social media data for fraud investigation viewed as an anomaly but rather an absolute necessity to better serve the enterprise and the customer as part of the day-to-day business process. At Social Discovery Corp. we continue to advise and learn from our customers’ real world stories about the positive impacts of this approach and are always pleased to share our knowledge and best practices that we have uncovered through our many years working in this space.
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