Should Employers Screen Their Candidates’ Social Media Activity?

Should Employers Screen Their Candidates' Social Media Activity?

A bad hire costs employers an average of 30% of that individual’s first year of potential earnings. Keeping in mind the potential high costs of a bad fit employee — not to mention the potential cost of damages caused by a bad fit employee — it’s no surprise employers are looking for ways to make more careful, informed hiring decisions.

One way employers are learning more about their job applicants is through social media screenings. Because this type of screening is new to many hiring managers, we’re sometimes asked if it’s necessary a step of the background screening process.

To help you figure out if social media background checks are right for your candidates, it’s important to understand how the screening works.

What’s a Social Media Background Check?

A social media background check reviews a job applicant or employee’s publicly available social media content. The goal of the screening is to get additional insights about a person that can’t be found through a traditional criminal background check or reference check. Employers use this screening to find alarming online behaviors that indicate the individual could put the organization, its employees or its customer’s in harm’s way.

Platforms that may be audited in a social media background check include:

When conducted by a trained third-party, a social media background check follows Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines and ensures employers only learn information that’s legally permissible in the hiring process. For example, a third-party wouldn’t report on information that could cause hiring bias, like information about a person’s sexual orientation. They could, however, report on social media posts where the individual used racist language.

Common red flags found during social media screenings include:

What Jobs and Organizations Benefit Most from Social Media Background Checks?

While having a thorough understanding of your candidates is helpful for any organization looking to make more informed hiring decisions, some jobs and organizations stand will find social media screenings particularly beneficial. That’s because jobs and organizations that have either a wide-reaching audience or the potential to harm the people they’re trusted to help can face backlash and penalties should their employees behave unacceptably.

We strongly recommend social media background checks for:

Should You Screen Candidates’ Social Media Activity?

Social media screenings offer insights into your candidates’ personalities and behaviors that you may not otherwise learn during the hiring process. If you care about spotting bad behaviors — including those that may not be criminal but could still harm your brand, your employees or the people your organization helps — these types of background checks are a great option.

You can learn more about social media background checks here.

Exit mobile version