A social media background check, or social media background screening, is when an employer researches the social media profiles of a candidate or an employee.
Why Should an Employer Do a Social Media Background Check of New Hires?
Employers can use social media background checks to ensure the information on the resume of a candidate is accurate. It can also be used as a reference check.
Social media background checks can also provide useful information on the behavior or the values of a person. Employers can use them to make sure they are a good fit in the company and do not participate in unlawful activities or share racist or sexist comments, for example.
What Are the Best Practices When Doing a Social Media Background Check?
The best practices to conduct a social media background check include:
- Getting the written consent of candidates or employees
- Disclosing what kind of information will be sought
- Making sure it is done in accordance with the law
- Letting the person explain any information retrieved on their social media if necessary
- Using a third-party agency to ensure neutrality
- Being clear about the social media policy of the company during the recruitment and interview process
- Reviewing exclusively public information
- Documenting any findings to protect the company against discrimination allegations
What Are the Advantages of Social Media Background Checks?
The advantages of social media background check include:
- Validating the information on the resume of a candidate
- Making sure their employee do not take part in any illegal or violent activities outside of their professional life
- Identify potential risks or red flags
- Learn more about the network of their employees
- Vetting the culture fit of a candidate
- Protecting the image of the company
What Are the Drawbacks of Social Media Background Checks?
The drawbacks of social media background check include:
- Potential discrimination
- Violation of the personal freedom of the employee
- Loss of trust from the employee or candidate
- False information
- Negative impact on employer brand
- Loss of time
What Red Flags Should an Employer Look for on Social Media?
The red flags employers should look for on social media include:
- Illegal activities
- Violent or aggressive behaviors or language
- Discriminatory, racist or sexist comments
- Sexually explicit material
- Confidential information