Social media background checks are a valuable tool for companies that can mitigate security risks. However, it is essential to ensure they are conducted legally and adequately. This includes getting an authorization release form that complies with the FCRA.

This prevents hiring managers from seeing information that could create biases, like posts showing excessive cursing or pictures of hard partying.

Increased Efficiency

Using social media to verify information is an efficient way of finding out who someone is. It also gives a fuller picture of an employee, revealing things that may not be apparent from their resume or during an interview.

This method also helps to reduce turnover costs, as it can be costly to replace an employee in terms of salary and training new hires. A social media background check allows an employer to see what applicants post online and how this can affect their work performance.

However, a few issues should be considered before a social media search. For one, it is essential to use a third-party company that understands the complexities of legal compliance. It’s also necessary to create specific policies around what types of searches can be made and when. This can help to mitigate any unconscious bias that may occur during the process. In addition, it’s crucial to establish a system that can run a consistent set of checks and not reveal any prohibited information such as age, religion, or sexual orientation.

Reduced Risk

Social media background checks can help reduce the risk of hiring toxic employees, saving a company millions in turnover costs and lost productivity. This is especially important in industries like retail, where one bad hire can damage the company’s reputation.

However, social media screening should be done responsibly and ethically. A compliant check only searches publicly available information – for example, comments on Facebook that cite a racial slur or photos on Instagram that are flagged for violence – and never hack into private accounts.

In addition, it’s important to remember that discrimination claims can still arise even if an employer only looks at public information. This is because the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees and job applicants from employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, sex, and other protected classes. To avoid these risks, it’s best to outsource the screening process to a third party that can conduct searches legally and ethically. This way, the third party can also redact all protected class information from the results before it’s provided to you.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

Social media background checks are helpful for companies looking for a competitive advantage in hiring. By assessing candidates’ personalities, attitudes towards work, and other aspects of their lives on social media, recruiters can make more informed hiring decisions.

However, while the information obtained from social media searches may seem insightful, it must be weighed against other factors. For example, whether a candidate is a passionate fan of a specific sports team or follows a particular political party does not necessarily indicate that they’ll be a good fit for the company. It can also be challenging to determine the authenticity of the information found on social media.

Therefore, it’s best to leave the task of conducting social media background checks to third-party consumer reporting agencies better equipped to assess multiple accounts and ensure compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Moreover, these services can save time by focusing on the relevant information and removing protected class data. They can then deliver the results promptly, giving you more time to focus on interviewing and making hiring decisions.

Increased Employee Satisfaction

Social media background checks can help employers find more comprehensive information on candidates that might not be revealed through other methods, such as a criminal record check or education verification. In addition, they can help to identify potentially harmful characteristics of candidates, such as a propensity for violence and online harassment that might not be obvious from an interview or the candidate’s resume.

This can be especially helpful for companies with specific hiring criteria for positions involving public safety or interactions with vulnerable populations. Applicants who badmouth their previous employer or engage in other socially irresponsible activities can be a risk to the company and lead to negligent hiring lawsuits.

However, some concerns are associated with social media background checks, including privacy considerations and potential discrimination. For instance, older individuals may be less active on social media, and some socioeconomically disadvantaged racial or ethnic groups may not have internet access. Furthermore, social media user-generated content often needs to be more accurate, more accessible to verify, and may be taken out of context. Therefore, it is essential that organizations disclose the use of social media background checks, obtain permission from candidates, and carry them out late in the recruitment process to minimize these risks.

Increased Employee Engagement

The omnipresence of social media has shifted the expectations that we all have for how we present ourselves in our professional lives. As a result, it’s becoming more common for employers to review their candidates’ social media footprints as part of their pre-employment screening process.

However, it’s important to note that this type of screening should be conducted fairly and ethically. It’s best to work with a third-party partner who can perform social media searches compliantly and without violating federal or state laws.

Furthermore, it’s essential to consider that social media background checks can provide a more complete picture of an applicant than simply what they say during the interview. For example, a candidate may be polite and impressive in the interview but badmouth their previous employer on social media. This isn’t easy to pick up on during an interview.

Lastly, it’s essential to recognize that many applicants regard their social media activity as part of their private, non-work life. Consequently, they tend to view social media screening as unfair due to the transgression of this boundary. This is particularly true for members of socioeconomically disadvantaged groups.