While interviewing a candidate, it isn’t easy to assess how they behave daily. But social media can help in deciding that.
It’s a Legal Requirement
A social media screening is one of the most important components of a complete background check, typically including criminal records checks, employment verifications, references, and drug tests. It gives a more complete picture of individuals than other screening tools and helps employers make informed hiring decisions.
But performing a social media check without strict legal guidelines is risky and can open up companies to lawsuits. For example, federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based on a person’s race, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, political views, and other traits. Social media can reveal sensitive information about these traits that could lead to discrimination claims.
Even if a candidate has no criminal record, their social media can show pictures of them in compromising situations or posts that expose them as violent or abusive. A social media screen can also uncover details about a candidate’s past irrelevant to the job, such as sexual orientation or religious beliefs. A good third-party vendor specializing in social media background checks understands privacy laws and can help ensure all searches are conducted legally. It will get the necessary authorizations and disclosures from applicants and only search for public information that is relevant to the job at hand. It will also redact any protected class information before presenting the results.
It’s a Cost-Effective Method
Using social media to screen potential candidates can save businesses money on background checks and other costs associated with the hiring process. In addition, social media screening provides information that may be hidden in traditional background checks, or that cannot be verified through other methods. Recruiters and hiring managers can use social media to find out about the backgrounds of their applicants, including previous criminal records and other qualifications. They can also learn about the candidate’s lifestyle, which is important for some positions, such as working with vulnerable populations or handling confidential information.
In the past, it was easier for employers to get this information by paying for a background check. However, now most candidates’ social media profiles are publicly available and can be searched by anyone. This information is often more accurate than traditional background checks and can help hiring managers make more informed decisions.
It’s a Time-Saving Method
Social media screening helps employers find out more about their candidates without asking them questions or waiting for them to respond to interview questions. This saves the candidate and employer time and makes the hiring process faster. Aside from being a time-saving method, social media screening can help companies avoid making bad hires. For example, a company may not want to hire a convicted criminal and a social media check can reveal information about the person’s past that they may not have shared in an interview. A social media screen can uncover pictures of a person in compromising situations, posts about predatory behavior, and more.
Social media screening is only legal if done correctly and by all relevant laws,it’s important to note. Employers must establish clear policies and standards and work with a qualified third-party service provider when conducting social media searches. This ensures that all applicants are treated the same and that the information gathered is relevant to the job.
It’s also important to remember that social media content is only a snapshot of a person’s life. It’s easy for people to edit or delete their profiles, and not everything posted online represents a person’s true personality.
It’s a Good Way to Screen Candidates
If you’re looking for new hires, finding ways to make your hiring process more efficient is essential. One way to do this is using social media screening instead of standard background checks. Social media screening can help you save time and money by allowing you to screen candidates for job-related issues quickly. However, it’s important to remember that not all information on social media is valid. It’s easy for employers to fall victim to bias when interpreting social media posts. Getting a complete picture of a candidate from their social media profile is also difficult. For example, some people may choose not to upload all of their professional achievements onto their profiles. As a result, you might miss important information about a candidate’s qualifications.
Furthermore, some information on social media is personal and could impact a candidate’s employment decision. For instance, if a candidate posts about their religion or political beliefs on their social media accounts, it’s possible that this could cause the company to reject them. This can be problematic because it’s unfair to discriminate against a candidate based on their beliefs.
While social media screening is becoming a common practice, it’s important to be aware of the risks that come with it. If you use social media screening as part of your hiring process, setting clear guidelines and following them consistently is essential.