An area of background checking that can often be misunderstood is social media screening. Employers and candidates alike can sometimes be wary of such processes, with the worry of compliance risks and consequences that can come with carrying out the wrong kind of checks. And, of course, no candidate wants to feel like their privacy has been invaded by a potential employer.
However, when performed correctly and compliantly, social media checking can provide invaluable information which protects employers from making the wrong hiring decision.
If you’re unsure of what exactly social media screening consists of, how you can conduct these checks efficiently, or the value that social media background checking can bring to your business when done right, we’ve got you covered.
What is a social media check?
Social media screening is the process of examining a candidate’s social media accounts for evidence of adverse behaviour that might have a negative impact on the employer, or the candidate’s ability to perform within the role.
These checks are usually carried out on candidates as part of the recruitment process, although some organisations might find periodic checking of existing employees also beneficial.
Pinpoint potential risk from the outset
Contrary to the beliefs of some, social media checks are not conducted as a means for future employers to snoop on what candidates get up to outside of work.
Social media checks are solely designed to protect the employer, both now and in the future, from making bad – and potentially dangerous – hiring decisions.
For example, employing someone with extreme views might not only negatively impact other colleagues, but also affect the way a candidate carries out their work, and possibly cause lasting reputational damage to the organisation.
Social media screening can highlight:
- Extreme views or opinions
- Hate and discriminatory behaviour
- Illegal activities
- Sexually explicit content
- Affiliations with groups that promote any of the above
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The development of social media screening
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Leave it to the experts
Here’s just three benefits of leaving your social media screening to an expert third-party provider:
Reduce the risk of human bias
Social media checks can expose extra information, such as protected characteristics. If this information unintentionally influences a hiring manager’s decision, the employer could find themselves subject to an employment tribunal. With a third-party provider, you will only be handed the information that you need to know – reducing the risk of human bias and decision-making that could be seen as discriminatory.
Ensure accuracy and relevance
Many social media platforms are designed for personal rather than professional use, meaning that some information might not be relevant to the workplace. Employers can glean vast amounts of data from social media – much of it outdated. Automated technology from a third-party provider sweeps social media accounts to flag only the relevant information for each role.
Make confident hiring decisions
Expert social media checking providers will present you with thorough findings of any relevant red flags or positive contributors that you need to be aware of for each candidate. With this data, you can then go on to make the best hiring decisions for your organisation without taking the time out of your busy schedule. Plus, you’ll feel confident that you’ve done all that you can to keep your reputation, and your employees, safe.
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