A potential employer’s social media accounts may be a window into their personal life, but they also might contain inappropriate content for a job interview. Then there are the legal and ethical concerns, including invasion of privacy and discrimination. A picture of a party from four years ago can’t tell you much about how the candidate might perform in your company. Moreover, these searches can be time-consuming and expensive.
It’s a Good Way to Screen Candidates
Social media searches can add depth to the information you gather about job candidates. Depending on privacy settings, you can learn about a candidate’s education, political views, workplace history, geographic location, list of friends, and more. It can help you decide whether a candidate is a good fit for your organization. It can also allow you to assess skills for specific roles (like writing) without asking the candidate directly. However, it’s important to remember that social media profiles only glimpse someone’s life. And they can often be misleading. Plus, many people don’t use social media or have private profiles. And even those who do often don’t update them regularly or have content that would interest a recruiter.
Generally, it’s best to use social media screening to supplement other background checks and interviews. It can help you make the most of the tool while avoiding legal issues like discrimination. And it can help you find the best possible employees for your company.
It Can Help You Avoid Hiring Mistakes
Social media screening can give hiring officials a complete picture of applicants, including their work history and personal life. It can help them determine whether the person will fit the company’s culture and workplace environment well. However, it’s important to remember that what candidates post on their social media profiles may not always accurately represent their true personality or character. For example, they may have posted pictures of themselves in compromising situations or made offensive social media comments that they would not have done in a professional setting.
Also, some personal information is not considered fair game during social media screening, such as age, race, religion, sex, and national origin. Companies must have a framework to determine how much weight each factor will give when using social media screening for hiring purposes. It can avoid any potential legal issues. In addition, it can help companies avoid hiring mistakes that can damage their reputation. For instance, hiring a racist or sexist employee could alienate their employees and customers, hurting the bottom line.
It Can Help You Avoid Legal Issues
When hiring managers snoop through social media profiles, they enter an ethical minefield. Privacy and discrimination are the primary concerns, and employers must ensure they only use public information and do not violate employment laws. Social media profiles do not always accurately picture a person’s professional life. People adopt different personas in their personal and professional lives, which can be difficult to discern from a social media profile. Screening should be a last resort and conducted cautiously, as it can have major consequences for your company. It is best to outsource this task to a third-party screening provider with strict standards and can conduct the search legally. This way, you can reap the benefits of this valuable tool without any potential legal issues. In addition, you can avoid liability by making it clear that the search is being conducted for employment purposes and only pulling publicly available information. It would help if you also had a written policy and an authorization form that requires applicants’ consent to proceed.
It Can Help You Avoid Discrimination
While it is common for employers to peruse social media profiles, the company may become subject to discrimination claims if this search is conducted in an ad-hoc manner without a clear written policy or standard approach. Social networking platforms may expose protected traits, such as race, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, and handicap, which employers are not allowed to consider when recruiting.
In addition, people use their social media differently and are only sometimes professional when posting on non-professional platforms. Screening for this information could also be considered an invasion of privacy if the candidate isn’t comfortable with their employer checking for personal data on their private profiles. However, using a reputable background screening provider that uses AI and FCRA-trained human analysts can help reduce compliance issues, bias, and privacy concerns while allowing you to get the most useful insight into your candidates.
It Can Help You Avoid Recruiting Mistakes
It’s important to make sure you’re using social media screening correctly. It’s tempting to look up candidates on their profiles before meeting them in person, but doing so can lead to biases and jeopardize the fairness of the recruiting process. Instead, it’s a good idea to wait until after the interview. It’s also important to be consistent with the platforms you use. Some platforms are more popular than others and might appeal to different demographics. Lastly, it’s important to remember that certain things cannot be considered during the social media screening process, such as religion, sexual orientation, and political affiliations.
Social media screening should complement other sources of information, such as test results, work experience, and education. By doing this, you can ensure that you’re hiring the best possible candidate for your business. And using a trusted employment verification service, you can be confident that your candidate’s profile information is accurate.