What is Social Media Background Screening?

Background checks are par for the course when a job seeker applies. No company wants to pay the price of negligence in this regard. However, criminal checks are the most popular screening procedure. The social media equivalent is not as popular. Still, employers are starting to catch on that social media background checks could be useful insights into applicants' personalities.

Social Media Background Screening

Yes. However, individual hiring managers do not carry out these social media checks themselves. The reason for this is likely exposure to protected class information (which could constitute grounds for discrimination lawsuits) such as sex, marital status, race, sexual orientation, etc. As such, this aspect of corporate due diligence is outsourced to third-party companies that organize screening reports. Furthermore, the screening procedure has to be compliant with the law. In other words, screening companies must:

  1. Receive permission to conduct the screening

  2. Focus only on relevant business information and remove protected class information from results

  3. Use legal and ethical means to obtain information

  4. Review the right candidate/employee

What type of information do social media checks look out for?

  1. Potentially violent content (self-harm, threats, violent images, etc.)

  2. Potentially illegal content (drugs, etc.)

  3. Sexually explicit content (explicit images and text, etc.)

  4. Racist or intolerant content (bullying, toxic language, hate speech, etc.)

Benefits of Social Media Background Screening

  1. It can help determine the personality types and traits of employees/candidates

  2. It can be a helpful tool in assessing the cultural fit of a potential employee

  3. It can provide insight into the people skills of employees/candidates

Abhishek Kathpal

Abhi is the co-founder of Longlist.io, enabling 50+ recruitment businesses build better client and candidate relationships.