What Social Media Platforms are Checked During Screening?

Employers worldwide are using social media as an essential tool for sourcing, recruiting and screening applicants. Social media sites also act as a good impetus for businesses to build their brand and target suitable people with the desired skill sets.

But how vital is social media when it comes to pre-employment background screening? 

Social media background screening is one of the most intuitive ways an employer can find out whether a candidate is a good fit for the role or not. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn prove excellent resources for identifying candidates, as well as communicating with them and, inevitably, recruiting them after that. However, when social media employment screening is needed, employers need to proceed with caution and tread carefully, as there are benefits and risks with such a move.

What is a Social Media Background Check?

Social media background checks are when employers review a job applicant’s social media profiles during the hiring process. These types of background checks can reveal information that’s more difficult to find during traditional pre-employment screening, but the information obtained is still publicly available.

Social media employment screening is a specific type of background screening that employers should exercise caution with, as performing these checks without any regard for compliance, legality or prejudice can result in legal action being taken against a company.

Why Conduct Social Media Employment Screening?

Social media checks can reveal valuable information that validates a candidate’s job experience and supports their application. There are many advantages it can bring to a business, such as:

  • Learning more about the candidate
    Social media profiles provide a deeper insight into a person’s true behaviour, which can contradict their behaviour in a job interview.

  • Confirming beneficial information
    Applicants may find job interviews nerve-wracking and may forget to disclose important qualities. A social media background screening process can help you learn about their positive traits, rather than find explicitly negative ones.

  • Eliminating bad and poor candidates
    By eliminating the possibility of hiring potentially dangerous candidates, a social background check can ensure hostile or controversial people don’t enter your workplace.

  • Validating references or recommendations
    Some social media profiles such as LinkedIn show endorsements and testimonials that people have received. This information can prove useful for learning about a candidate’s work ethic and diligence.

  • Cost and time efficiencies
    Standard background checks, employment checks, ID verification, right to work checks and so on, all take time. Unfortunately, time delays happen, but social media background checks are very efficient and cost-effective, with results turned around quickly.

What Can You Find on a Social Media Check?

Social media profiles can unveil online activity and behaviour by candidates that is either incredibly beneficial or, conversely, incriminating and risky to an organisation. It’s about how that employing company leverages the publicly available information to make the smartest and most beneficial hiring decisions.

The risk categories that exist with social media checks are as follows:

  • Illegal activities
  • Hate speech or racism
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Bullying or insulting behaviour
  • Foul or abusive language
  • Substance abuse or addiction
  • Violence or threatening behaviour
  • Inappropriate or undesirable conduct

Any publicly available information that falls into the above categories, which is revealed during a social media screening, could prevent an applicant from entering an organisation. 

Social media checks are useful for obtaining the above information but must be conducted in a legal and compliant manner. Candidates’ protective information, such as their race, religion, gender, age, skin colour and disability, cannot be considered reasons for not being hired. If this is divulged, that could open the door to potential legal action.

Social Media Platforms Which are Checked

The following social media profiles can be checked as part of this pre-employment background screening process:

Flexible Background Screening Services

If your organisation relies on timely, efficient and cost-effective background screening services, then consider Eurocom CI’s solutions. We are an accredited and experienced background check company with a proven track record of delivering high-quality services for clients in almost any industry, from finance to education and healthcare.

We are fully compliant and clued into all legal methods for conducting pre-employment screening checks, so your organisation will be less likely to face legal action than if you attempted these checks yourself.

If you want to find out more about our services, ranging from director checks and AML checks to bankruptcy and right to work checks, get in touch with Eurocom CI today. We can provide you with single checks, bulk packages or even a bespoke solution.