Hiring the appropriate candidate who fits the job role is one of the daunting tasks. But it also needs to be done precisely to avoid any sought of glitches when the organizations are hiring!

Yes, social media of course is an essential aspect as it helps us socialize with friends, family, and colleagues, getting through the latest news and updates. But relying on social media for hiring candidates based on their profiles, is it OK?

Of course, social media check may offer a holistic view of an individual and includes checking for the personal and professional lives of the individual. But relying on social media can even encourage you to make the wrong hiring decision. Employers or businesses looking for an idea in the life of the prospective candidate on social media may reject them based on what they find online!

Therefore, businesses must rely on background check verification that is made for the organizations to check the previous record of the candidate and make the right hiring decision. Let us discuss in depth why must businesses not rely on social media screening and a lot more!

What exactly Social Media Checks Are?

Performing a background check on social media is a process where you can simply go through the candidate’s profiles including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or others. These are the public-facing profiles of the candidate and help you discover them personally.

The hiring managers or the team can surely get additional insights into the candidate’s life by monitoring their social media profiles, posts, comments, updates, location check-in, and more.

The information of the candidate is available publicly to everyone, but that does not mean you are hiring a candidate on that basis. Suppose you checked for an Instagram profile of a candidate exploring different places, does that mean you will not hire that candidate? That will simply not be justified, and you may end up losing the potential candidate.

What all candidates must avoid posting on Social Media

Well, if we talk in general, a candidate must not put up posts that have any kind of personal attacks and violate the law. However, it is OK to share your opinion and views on some things, but keeping it professional is also important.

Here are the quick guidelines that help your social media stay professional.

  • You must not share anything that is offensive and violates the law. Also, things that harm others' sentiments must be avoided.

  • Post with a purpose and ask yourself about the goal of why you are posting it. Ensure having a clear vision of everything.

  • Keep it simple

  • Do not complain about anyone and use offensive language.


Reasons why Social Media Background must be avoided

Well, it is not the right decision to scroll the Instagram or Facebook of the candidate to make a better hiring decision. As we already discussed above, social media may reveal a lot about candidates, but in the end, relying on them for a streamlined background check is not the right decision to make!

Let us quickly find out the top-notch reasons why businesses must avoid social media background checks as a part of background verification.

1. Wrong Identity

What if you are unsure that the candidate's social media profile belongs to them or that they are the ones posting stuff? Yes, that is true, you can find so many profiles with the same name and images that could be duplicated. So relying on such information from the name or city might reveal information about some other candidate and if you make your decision based on that, you will put your company at a risk.

There are billions of fake accounts used by the same names and as per a report from Facebook, there are around 88 million fake accounts out there. Checking for a fake account simply means that your check is not worth it and ends up risking the company, the client, and the project.

2. Manipulated Information

Suppose you find the right profile and is this the end? No, do you need the information provided on the profile to be accurate or not? Internet spreads information like anything, and most of the time it is falsified. Also, with the trending social media hacking, the profile of a candidate might be at a risk.

With the falsified information being spread over social media, using it for a background check verification is always a wrong decision and leads to bias and risks associated with the process of hiring. In a nutshell, social media does not help you rectify whether you are looking for a genuine profile or information- is it even coming from them, or is fake?

3. Restricted criteria for Hiring

EEOC which stands for equal employment opportunity commission enforces different characteristics of the pre-employment screening and these are crucial characteristics that must be checked beforehand to make the right hiring decision. However, social media checks can not help you with the information.

The information can not be checked via social media pages and some of the characteristics include age, religion, sex, nationality, disability, genetic information, previous information, and more.

Social media profiles of the candidate are like once you check for something on the page, you start trusting it with any facts and therefore there are more doors for the unconsciousness and bias that businesses face during the hiring process.

4. Social media screeners are CRAs

Nowadays, more than ever, companies are relying on background check services that even help formalize their social media screening of the employee. Social media just gives a snapshot of the person's behavior to get an accurate picture of the employee.

A social media background check is simply a DIY, and many employers think they don’t have to worry about the FCRA. It becomes vital to ensure you hire the right and reputable organization that knows about every law of the background check. It is the best solution while helping you eliminate social media background checks.

5. Local Hiring Laws

When you disclose the final background check reports, do anything related to the social media check in the report? Of course not, you can not keep the social media checks in the report and these checks can not be kept hidden from the employee or the candidate. It leads to two potential threats to the organization and includes

  • They can take their FCRA claim while contesting the data accuracy.
  • Employee or candidate can claim you were simply influenced by characteristics within the hiring decision.

Any other important note here is that the candidate may be notified not just that you looked at their social media—they’ll have access to what specific facts become accessed. In some cases, this could snowball into accusations of discrimination and result in a lawsuit.

6. Bias in Social Media

OK, this is surely the last one now! It is one of the biggest issues you face when running a social media background check. We are all human beings and there may be unconscious bias in everything that revolves around us- we realize it or not is a different concept. The ultimate goal of the organization is to have a clean and fair pre-employment screening and yes, that means no bias involved!

There must be no forging because it is vital to have information based on facts, not opinions simply. Therefore, many organizations conduct training for the same. They undergo unconscious bias training that mitigates the risk. As more people are aware of the potential bias in the hiring process, it becomes easier to identify and work through those issues and ensure streamlined hiring. Social media checks are not appropriate, and therefore you must take a step back, choosing them to ensure a fair hiring process.

Also Read: Should You Review Candidate's Social Media Profiles Before Hiring?

Employee Background offers the right solutions!

Social media is good and here to stay, yet it is not crucial to rely on Social media for everything and especially for background screening. For companies who want a fair and compliant hiring process, it becomes vital to go for employment screening services with EmployeePast rather than social media.

Background screening services easily perform all the pre-employment background checks and screening for employees that cover their address verification, previous employment, salary details, criminal records, and lore more while helping maintain confidence.

With Background checks, businesses can make smart, well-informed hiring decisions that can save your business time, resources, and money in the long run while helping you retain the best of your talent. With a variety of services available, it’s easy to get the information you need to make confident onboarding decisions. EmployeePast offers simple and accurate background checks that are an important part of ensuring the individuals you hire fit well within your culture. Let’s connect for more details!