Why Should Employers Implement A Social Media Background Check For New Employees?

Why Employers Need to Ensure A Thorough Social Media Background Check

Within the entire recruitment process, interviewing is the step that takes up the most time. Makes sense. It takes weeks to thoroughly screen, schedule interviews, and book appointments with viable candidates. 

Unfortunately, after all this time and the costs associated with the entire process, employers occasionally end up with mismatched employees. 

Why Employers Hire Bad Fits

Almost every recruiter can tell you a story or two about hiring the wrong fit. A candidate that was great on paper and excellent in their in-person interviews only to be a disastrous hire. 

There are numerous reasons why this happens despite your best efforts. These include generic or outdated hiring processes, inadequate awareness building, pressure to fill a position, and groundless job descriptions. 

Similarly, the traditional interviewing process can also fail to yield results. For one, candidates can revise and practice interview questions, craft the perfect answers and work on their charisma long before their interview. 

How great would it be if you had a crystal ball to see what candidates are like outside the controlled environment of the interview room? 

Background Checks and HR

Many employers already carry out background checks as it is. The scope of these checks can be minimal, where the goal is to cross-check the information provided on the resume. This means confirming information like former workplaces and ID and social security checks. 

The net can be cast wider to determine whether a candidate has a criminal background, assess their credit history, and so on. These checks are commonplace and have been conducted for decades. 

Then enter the social media…

An emerging type of background check is the social media background check. And when you think about it, this is a natural progression. 

Gone are the days when social media was used purely for fun. Today, it’s used to bring together different communities, from people sharing similar hobbies to support groups for people going through similar health challenges. 

HR has not been left out of the fray. 

Case in point, about 70% of employers already use social media for hiring. This is mainly posting job ads and descriptions. A quickly emerging trend is getting a social media background check for every new employee. 

What Is a Social Media Background Check?

A social media background check identifies a candidate’s presence across multiple sites like Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and some gaming sites. 

With over 3.77 people on social media, chances are that your top candidates are also on social media. 

But why is a social media background check important? 

Why Employers Need to Conduct Social Media Background Checks

Searching candidates’ social media accounts during your recruitment process can give you more insights into the individuals and help you find the best fit. 

Below are some ways that a social media background check for each new employee can support your recruitment process.

Vetting Cultural Fit

Cultural fits can be challenging to determine from a resume or one-on-one interviews. 

Fortunately, some people post about their beliefs, attitudes and values, goals, and personalities on their online accounts. This allows you to get a good sense of who they are, how they would contribute to your company culture, and how well, or otherwise, they would fit into it. 

Candidates that fit well into an existing organizational culture tend to be more productive and stay with the organization longer than those who don’t. With the recruiting costs being what they are, it’s more cost-effective to find the best fit from the start. 

Applicants’ social media accounts can also help you identify candidates who will uphold your organization’s culture even off the clock. 

Identify Red Flags

Scrutinizing an individual’s social media can help alert you to candidates with concerning or erratic behavior. It’s important to flag such issues because they can cause liability issues for your company or create friction among staffers. 

Some problem areas include;

  • Sexist, racist, or discriminatory posts
  • Explicit content
  • Violent behavior or language
  • Possible criminal or unethical activity

This information can be derived from what the candidate publishes online or other people’s explicit and implicit posts about the candidate. 

Protect Your Brand

Prominent companies spend time and money building and priming their reputation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to damage your carefully tended image. Even worse, such damage does not have to come from your dealings with your customers; it can also come from injurious information posted by an employee. 

Employees with offensive posts can be traced back to you, causing you bad publicity. 

It, therefore, helps to know what top candidates’ social media says. Depending on what you find, you can find a way to mitigate the possible future risk or overlook the candidate. 

Help You Make Cost Savings

A social media background check can help save your organization some cash in the short and long term. 

Depending on your turnover, the costs of hiring (advertising, onboarding, training, and equipping) can get steep. Each time you make the wrong choice on a hire, and they get dismissed shortly after, the clock resets, alongside the associated costs. 

A social media background check can help you land candidates that align with your company culture, have no questionable affiliations, and that will stand the test of time. This minimizes your turnover, saving you money. 

How to Go About Social Media Screening

Social media screening is more than Googling candidates’ names and should be left to a third party. The reason for this is to avoid implicit and intentional bias. 

Similarly, social media will give you all the unfiltered information about a candidate, including data protected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Such information should not be used in determining a candidate’s suitability. That said, it’s almost impossible to ignore information on a candidate once you come across it. 

The best way to go about this type of screening is to have it done by a reputable background screening provider. They know what to look for, the legal stipulations to adhere to, and what to leave out of the final report.

Contact Wolfe Inc. Today

Wolfe Inc. is here to help employers and medical providers combat the fentanyl overdose epidemic by offering the most comprehensive employment drug testing services available. Our Team of employment toxicology testing experts are here to assist your practice, company or school system with any questions you might have!