Social media background check involves assessing a candidate’s web presence and social media status on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and so on to determine their eligibility for the position.
This can range from a quick overview of the candidate’s public profiles on major social media platforms to an in-depth analysis of their online activity, including comments and blog posts. This provides a wealth of information about the candidates and how they conduct themselves, so you know you are hiring the right person for the company.
Criminal Monitoring: This is a crucial check so that you can rectify the actions of potential problem employees and prevent a repeat of crimes at your company.
Random Drug Testing: Drug abusers not only lower your team’s productivity but can also potentially endanger teammates.
MVR Monitoring: If the concerned employee is driving for the company, the motor vehicle record will expose any history of road violations or license suspension.
Employment Verifications: Refrain from hiring any employee with fraudulent documents regarding education or other qualifications.
Why do Employers Use Social Media Background Checks?
The reason for these background checks is simple: to determine whether the employee is fit for the company through their public online actions, especially in regard to professional history.
This also gives insight into any history of illegal activity, leaking confidential information, and aggressive behavior, such as hate crimes, racism, discrimination, and sexually explicit content. These are important red flags, and you must take proactive measures accordingly.
These checks are essential for employees who interact with the public and represent the company. Their actions can significantly affect the company’s reputation as opposed to those who are involved in tasks that don’t associate with the employer’s name.
However, ensure that such checks are done in compliance with employee privacy and with their consent.
What are the Guidelines for Social Media Screening?
All background checks have to adhere to strict regulations to respect the candidate’s privacy. Here is an overview of the guidelines that you should follow:
Consent of the employee before the background screening.
Only public posts can be viewed.
Accessing protected accounts by requesting passwords and creating fake accounts is prohibited.
Violating these guidelines can result in legal repercussions for the company.
What Social Media Information Can’t Influence a Hiring Decision?
Despite the use of screening to find good candidates, there are certain parameters that cannot be used to avoid hiring discrimination. These include-
Pregnancy and children
Do Background Checks Assess Social Media?
Traditionally, background checks don’t require going through social media activity and can be done by an employer or landlord with an address and social security number as long as you give consent. It typically costs between $20 to $100 and includes:
Eligibility to work in the U.S.
Pros and Cons of Social Media Background Checks
Like all screening processes, social media checks have their fair share of pros and cons. The greatest advantage is that you get an idea of the applicants' ideals and whether they align with those of the company.
This ensures that they will be able to uphold the company’s reputation even if they aren’t at work. Remember that any praise for your employee will elevate your company’s image, whereas untoward actions will reflect poorly on the organization.
Despite the stringent guidelines, there always remains some ethical ambiguity regarding the process. There is a risk of duplicates as many people share the same names, as well as misinformation from people creating fake accounts or impersonating others online.
Not only is this process time-consuming, given that people have multiple profiles across different platforms, but the in-depth checks can create the impression that the company is overtly controlling.
Furthermore, if any personal information is revealed during analysis, it could create bias in the hiring decision.
Best Practices for Conducting Social Media Background Checks
To maximize the output of the social media background screening without violating any regulations, here are some useful tips:
Develop policies for social media screening and maintain transparency during the recruitment process.
Never request account passwords or search private profiles.
Only use third-party agencies that uphold FRCA regulations.
Keep a record of all findings to counter any allegations of hiring discrimination.
Irrespective of the concerns regarding bias and privacy, social media background screening certainly has its fair share of merits. It gives the company a fair idea of prospective employees and whether they will be able to adjust to the work environment. Hiring managers will also be able to screen out any applicants with a questionable history.
At the end of the day, the goal of the company is to hire employees who are qualified for the position and will uphold the image of the company. Social media background screening is a great way to ensure that you hire the right person for the job.