For years, one of the final and most crucial steps in the job hiring process was to conduct a pre-employment background check on a candidate before extending an offer. However, times have changed – and so has the background screening process. These days, it’s not enough for businesses to know if their potential hires have been convicted of felonies and misdemeanors, falsified a degree or place of employment; they must also be aware of any behavioral issues the candidate exhibits that could put the company, its employees and customers/clients at risk. Social Media Screening for employment brings these potential risks to the surface to protect your company and ensure that you are indeed hiring the best person for the job. 

To fully understand what Social Media Screening is, what it does, and how it can benefit your organization, let’s take a brief look at the traditional hiring process before we jump into the bigger picture. 

The Traditional Hiring Process 

Filling a new or vacant position is always a challenge. No one understands this better than HR representatives and recruiters. The highly involved process begins with identifying the need for a new employee, creating or updating a job posting, and uploading it to the business website and various job listing platforms. Then it’s time to sift through all of the many applicants to find the candidates whose resumes check all the required boxes. After the most desirable candidates are identified, the interview process begins. If all goes well, the company is ready to make an offer to the winning candidate – after a background check is conducted. 

That format worked for years, but it’s not as effective as it once was. Background checks are an integral part of the hiring process that provides valuable info about a candidate’s history, but they only confirm officially documented components such as crimes and convictions, employment history, educational degrees, or professional licenses. They don’t uncover activities and behaviors that are just as serious as verified crimes. In the past, it was extremely difficult (some would say impossible) to recognize a candidate’s underlying propensity for racist, sexist, violent or sexually explicit behavior or viewpoints. Now that so many people live their once private lives in public view on social media, their harmful behavior, intolerant rhetoric, and potentially illegal activities are on full display. And your company needs to be aware of these issues before a candidate becomes an employee – and a liability. 

Social Media Screening: What It Is & What It Does 

Much like the necessary pre-employment background screening your business conducts before a qualified candidate is hired, Social Media Screening is essentially a background check that uses a combination of cutting-edge technology and human oversight to generate a report that accurately identifies and analyzes any racist, sexist, violent and sexually explicit conduct, language and activities that a potential hire has exhibited on their social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other popular public platforms.  

Ultimately, a Social Media Background Check for employers gives you a greater understanding of a candidate and how they conduct themselves in daily life. Does this person frequently troll popular public Facebook pages to make unsavory and explicit comments to those they disagree with? Has the individual used Twitter to threaten a former coworker who they believe caused their dismissal? Has this person published a YouTube video in which they rant about their hatred of minorities? Do they post pictures on Instagram that can be viewed as racist or sexually explicit in nature or display instances of illegal drug use? If the Social Media Screening report confirms any of these actions or messages, then your company can rest easy knowing that it has avoided hiring a potential problem employee. 

The Benefits of Social Media Screening

First and foremost, Social Media Screening for employment helps protect your company in multiple ways. If a Social Media Screening report spotlights a candidate’s proclivities in any of the four major areas of concern (racism, sexism, violence, sexually explicitness), your company can reduce the risk of hiring someone who is a liability. By eliminating problem candidates from the hiring process, your company can avoid any potential instances of workplace violence, sexual harassment, racial bias, and other issues that could harm your company and its employees, customers and reputation. Removing this candidate from consideration also decreases the risk of lawsuits and other forms of legal action against the company. 

Utilizing Social Media Screening services also saves your organization money in the short and long run. HR reps, recruiters and executives in your organization know the costs associated with hiring a new employee. Not including the costs involved in the hiring process, there are significant costs for onboarding, training and equipping each new employee with essential workplace tools and materials. Then there are salaries, benefits, and additional perks like PTO, profit-sharing, and continued education costs. If your company hires a problem candidate and then has to dismiss that person due to concerns or issues, then the hiring process clock resets – along with all the costs. Making Social Media Screening a part of your hiring process ensures that your winning candidate is the right fit for your company’s culture, reducing your turnover rate and saving your company money. 

In addition to protecting your company and reducing costs, Social Media Screening is also quick and compliant. Most Social Media Screening reports can be processed in 48 hours since they use a combination of technology and human oversight to collect the data and review the results. And just like standard background checks, Social Media Screenings are bound by state and federal regulations regarding third-party disclosure of information. 

The world is constantly changing, and our long-held traditional workplace processes have to change along with it if we want to stay relevant. Traditional background screenings continue to be a necessary part of the hiring process, but companies must go one step further to eliminate problem candidates from being hired. If your organization is not currently using Social Media Screening as part of its hiring process, now is the time to start. 

FSSolutions, the leaders in workforce and employment screening in the United States, continues to evolve with the ever-changing world by offering innovative Social Media Screening services to your company. Partnering with Social Intelligence, the pioneers of online background screening, our Social Media Screening services act as your company’s bias-free third-party authority on collecting and identifying problematic behavior and content exhibited by job applicants. 

Fully compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and all state and data privacy laws, our Social Media Screening services coordinates with all of the major social media platforms to ensure the necessary compliance with all user terms and conditions to protect both your organization and the applicants during the screening process. The result: A legally defensible Social Media Screening report that only collects and analyzes pertinent data related to the four areas of concern (violence, sexism, racism, sexual explicitness) and extracts any protected personal data. This compliance reduces your business risks and ensures complete adherence to all state and federal privacy laws. 

To learn more about FSSolutions Social Media Screening services and how they can help your organization, Contact Us today to learn more about this innovative – and necessary – addition to your hiring process. 

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