70% of employers use social media to screen candidates. The top used social media profiles include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. Social media profiles are becoming more common and almost all working adults have some sort of social media profile. Most active career driven adults have a LinkedIn account to grow their business or to grow in the corporate world. With 25% or 2 billion of the world population being an active user on Facebook, nearly 17% or 1.28 billion of the world population log into Facebook daily. That is a lot of individuals using social media to post about their day, share videos or events, etc. Seeing what your candidate is doing on their social media profiles could determine if you hire the individual or not.
By conducting your own social media background checks on your candidates, you think could save you time and money but is it really? You find your candidate’s different social media profiles that include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it seems they have years and years of posting and sharing on their profiles. Something that seemed like it was going to be quick and easy, is now going to take you hours to look through everything to make sure this candidate is fit for you. Hiring a third-party vendor such as Background Check Central can get that stress of having to look through all their posts off your plate. Do you know how to minimize risks in doing this yourself? What exactly are you looking for in the social media profiles? Does that include anything that has negative behavior, or do you have a policy and procedure to know what to look for?
If you are going to conduct social media background checks on your candidates, make sure that you are looking at all the potential candidates’ profiles. The person that you really liked during the hiring process could be completely different in the outside world. It is best to view all potential candidate’s social media profiles to be sure that you aren’t favoring one person over the other. In an article written by Jonathan A. Segal from the Society for Human Resource Management read, “when surveyed in 2013 about why they decided not to use social networking sites for candidate screening, 74 percent of organizations said they were concerned with legal risks or discovering information about protected characteristics when perusing candidates’ social media profiles.” The reason why companies are concerned is because they may learn information such as approximate age, race, family problems etc. With having a third party conduct your social media background checks we can cut out information that may not relate to what you are focused on for the hiring process.
Also making sure that you have the candidate’s correct account is another way to minimize the risk. Look at what the candidate is posting and not what other individuals are posting on their page or saying about them. If there is something to worry about on the page, then give them time to clear up the situation before making a hiring decision. Don’t ever ask for your candidate’s social media passwords to access their information. In some states, you are not allowed to ask for the password by law. It can also create a risk by possibly violating the Federal Stored Communications Act. Asking for passwords to sites should be a big NO in your hiring process or even after they are hired.
This is another great reason why hiring a third-party vendor for conducting a social media background check is key. We have the knowledge on what should be reported on for social media and how far back the information can go. It is said that 1 in 10 social media reports have some adverse information on them. When we find adverse information on an applicant when viewing their social media profiles, we can only go back 7 years. This is similar to how we conduct criminal background checks and finding adverse information. This is a great reason to have Background Check Central conduct your social media background checks, so that you don’t see adverse information and then you won’t base decisions on information that can’t be used. For example, you as the Human Resources Director could conduct a quick social media check on your potential applicants. The one applicant could have some adverse information from 10+ years ago and your other applicant doesn’t have any adverse information on their profiles. Your opinion on which employee to employ could be altered from the information you saw on their profiles from more than 7 years ago.
Social Media Background Checks can be a risky investigation to conduct on your own. In the end it is not cost effective and it takes up your valuable time. Hiring the right experts to make sure you are getting accurate information is what Background Check Central will do for you. Give us a call today to discuss the options we can provide to on your applicants.