8 Ways People Fail Social Media Searches

Almost everyone is on some sort of social media these days, and it’s almost a surprise if they’re not. With so much information readily available and accessible online these days, employers can vet social media profiles of prospective candidates to assess who they are beyond their interview and CV.

Can You Fail a Social Media Background Check?

There are several ways a candidate can fail a professional social media background check in the UK. 

It’s estimated that upwards of 90% of job recruiters or HR teams conduct some form of social media employment screening before they consider hiring you. From an employers’ perspective, more and more businesses across various sectors are incorporating social media searches into their pre-employment screening processes.

Employers are looking to make smarter hiring decisions and ensure that you are the right fit for their organisation. Along with a CV, job application and interview, a social network profile can tell a lot about a candidate. In many ways, it can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful application. Therefore, making a solid impression is crucial for candidates to avoid their social media presence letting them down.

Why Do Employers Check Social Media?

Employers conduct social media vetting for a few simple reasons:

  • To ensure you are the right fit for the company.
  • To confirm your skills.
  • To spot potential red flags.
  • To learn more about the candidate(s).
  • To protect their organisation and employees.

Pre-employment background screening checks are in place to ensure that any prospective employee is not going to be problematic for a company. 

Social media checks can be incorporated seamlessly into a background screening process, alongside criminal record checks, right to work checks, ID verification, education verification, employment history, and more.

8 Reasons to Fail a Social Media Check

Here are eight ways an employee could fail a background check for social media.

Discriminatory action or remarks

Anyone making discriminatory or disparaging remarks online will most likely be out of the running for a job. Whether this is making hateful comments on a news article about a race or gender or being actively involved in a group that supports hateful or discriminatory speech, this is a one-way ticket to being removed from any job consideration.

Provocative pictures

Employers can look at inappropriate NSFW pictures in a few different ways. One employer could question a candidate’s priorities with these pictures, while others could see them in poor taste and indicative of self-absorption.

Excessive partying

While partying itself isn’t something an employer is likely to take issue with, taking it to the extreme could be. It could potentially send a red flag to that employer and make them question your reliability at turning up to work on time, let alone attending full stop.

Bad mouthing a past or current employer

Poor comments about coworkers, managers or directors don’t send a positive message about you to an employer hiring you. Showing this negative attitude reflects poorly on how you handle relationships with people you work with, so avoid saying bad things.

Unlawful activity

Hard evidence of any criminal behaviour will make any employer rethink your application. Most candidates have enough common sense not to post anything incriminating online, as well as showing them partaking in something legal but morally questionable.

Violent remarks or actions

Potential employers may see violent videos or pictures as unfunny, even if they’re intended as a joke. Any violent content can indicate what a person is like in real life.

Incomparable social media and CV

Adjusting a candidate’s CV to match a job description is nothing new, but equally, a social media profile shouldn’t make an employer question what’s on that CV. For example, during specific periods where you state you were volunteering, timestamped pictures of you partying instead would make them question this.

Being absent

Not everyone has social media, and if you’re one of these people, it may be wise to be transparent and admit you don’t have any if prompted. If a social media check is needed, and an employer catches wind that you don’t use social media, it could be a sign that you have something to hide if you don’t tell them.

Social Media Search Solutions for Employers

Social media background checks can save employers time, money, and so much of the hassle that comes with a bad hire. HR professionals and hiring managers want to ensure everyone they hire suits the company and culture, and conducting a social media check by yourself can be a legal minefield. 

Would you know whether you were looking at legitimate or fake profiles, or unintentionally discriminating because of protected class information?

Using a professional background check agency is your best bet to ensure all social media screening searches are lawful and ethically conducted. Speak to Eurocom CI today to discuss how we can help.