The Pros and Cons of Social Media Background Checks

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What are the pros and cons of social media background checks? There are several pros and cons to conducting a social media background check before hiring someone. The process can reveal a person’s unfiltered personality, mitigate fraud cases and raise equal employment opportunity concerns. However, it can be challenging to conduct, so it is essential to know how it works before running one. Nevertheless, the pros outweigh the cons, and here are some of them:

Can reveal unfiltered personality

Employers increasingly request social media background checks to see a candidate’s unfiltered personality. By assessing social media content, they can gauge an applicant’s perspective, philosophy of life, and fit with the organization. However, according to research from CareerBuilder, 57% of employers reject applicants based on their social media presence. These results can show drug and alcohol use, harassment, or discriminatory content.

Can mitigate incidents of fraud

Employers can benefit from a social media background check before hiring a new employee. Such a check can give an employer confidence in their candidate’s character and information. Using professional social media background checks can prevent the use of information from protected characteristics, such as sexual orientation or relationship status. Furthermore, such a background check helps companies avoid potential liability, including being exposed to bribery. Therefore, conducting a social media background check as part of a risk management program is essential.

In addition to providing valuable information, social media background checks can engage prospective new talent by offering guidance and education on developing a professional digital persona. As social media has revolutionized the workplace and staff expectations, employers must adapt their hiring practices to keep up with the times. Therefore, employers should ensure their employment practices are current. Performing a social media check can prevent fraudulent activity and keep the workplace safe. Here are some tips on how to perform a social media background check:

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Can raise equal employment opportunity concerns

Social media background checks can cause an employer to question whether the applicant is a safe hire. If a company pulls up an applicant’s Facebook page, that employer could be subject to a discrimination lawsuit. The same can happen when an employer searches a candidate’s credit report, resulting in a negative credit report. In the worst-case scenario, the applicant could end up pregnant. This could waste a lot of time and productivity for an employer.

To prevent any potential discrimination claims, social media background checks should be conducted consistently and ethically. The FCRA requires that employers comply with stringent requirements governing the use of such background checks. Employers should also develop policies to address their concerns about social media monitoring. These policies should clearly state that they will only check public information and should obtain written consent from job applicants. Employers should also document any concerns about an applicant’s social media profile. Establishing these concerns may protect them from claims of discrimination.

It can be challenging to conduct

Employers must follow the legal guidelines when using social media information to make decisions about hiring new employees. Employers must still abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act even if they use a third-party service. This act governs how criminal records are looked up. However, conducting social media background checks can be difficult. This article will discuss the various methods you can use to drive social media background checks.

First, it is not recommended that employers screen applicants using their social media accounts before they review their resumes. This may lead to the rejection of individuals whose social media profiles do not reflect the qualifications for the position. In addition, if a candidate has no social media account, an employer cannot claim that they were not hired because of their social media profile. Screeners often use non-job-related information to decide, such as controversial opinions, free speech, or even sexually explicit content. In some cases, employers may screen applicants based on revealing a medical condition or a high-risk hobby.

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Can raise concerns about privacy

While social media backgrounds can help ensure a better fit for a job, many employers have resisted using these profiles in hiring decisions. The lack of clear guidance regarding these searches can be a factor. Employers also want to avoid the thorny issues of discrimination and invasion of privacy. Despite this, only one-fourth of employers have a policy outlining handling such data.

While social media is a safe place for people to air their grievances, employers will increasingly leverage it in their background checks. For example, a company conducting an employee background check might ask for access to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. However, these social networks are a means of self-expression and may be used for malicious intent. As such, employers must consider the privacy implications before hiring.

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