Do Employers Run Background Checks on Social Media?
With social media being such an integral fabric woven into today’s society, it’s difficult to escape the influence of websites like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and others
Whether for better or worse, social media has revolutionized the way we interact and share information online. Posting lots about your life can leave users susceptible to judgment, where anyone with access can interpret information at their own leisure/discretion.
With most social media profiles representing a gold mine of information about a person, companies are increasingly using social media as a way to discover information about prospective employees.
This is unfortunate for those who perhaps fail to take their profiles seriously. Representatives of organizations will typically not hire someone based on what they’ve shared on social media. It’s important to remember that you’re never more than a Google search away from revealing a lot about your personality, especially if you’re someone who openly shares everything online.
But investigating a prospective employee can be time-consuming for employers. It also raises discrimination and privacy issues, something which encourages employers to leverage a professional service instead.
Social Intelligence Corporation (SIC)
This institution is one of many background check websites for employers, conducting social media research and much more. What’s great about working with the SIC is the legal peace of mind offered.
Participants will meet legal requirements, proceeding with reassurance checks in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and anti-discrimination laws.
The procedure formulated by the SIC makes it very easy for employers to discover information about candidates with relative ease. It is a fully integrated service that invested parties can use to run online background checks.
The service stretches from background checks on potential workers to ongoing monitoring of current workers.
Are Social Media Background Checks a Viable Option?
Checking on a candidate’s social media presence makes sense. Doing so offers a glance at someone’s personality, where you can access information to support an employment claim.
If you’re contemplating running a social media check, you should certainly use a professional service like the one mentioned above. By doing so you won’t leave yourself open to various discriminatory and other legal issues.
But even then, how reliable will your social media check be? Ultimately, it comes down to how seriously the individual takes their social media profile. Imagine passing on a dream employee just because their social media profile isn’t an accurate representation of their potential.
And who’s to say it should be? There is no formal standard to state that social media is a reflection of your potential for success. Many organizations reject candidates on the basis of provocative photographs, discriminatory comments, lies, etc.
But doing so can create a hiring bias, one which is difficult to be accountable for. If a company fails to hire someone after being deterred by personal information, it is the treading of a thin line that can lead to discrimination. It’s illegal to reject someone based on their personal information, but difficult to not be swayed by the same information.
So, Are Social Media Background Checks Performed?
Social media background checks can be valuable for recruiters to humanize candidates, to screen whether they’re a good cultural fit. Though they are regularly performed, there’s little evidence to suggest their usefulness.
What’s most important is being aware that companies do run social media background checks. It is this level of awareness which safeguards applicants from sharing obscenities on social media or other information which could be taken out of context by employers.
Social media background checks aren’t the gospel but are being increasingly run by companies of all shapes and sizes. This brings attention to the old adage ‘Be careful of what you share online!’.
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