Social media is a great way to connect with family and friends and keep up with them even when they are in other parts of the world. It has also given us glimpses into their psyches, which is not always a good thing; we have learned more about some people in our lives than we ever wanted to know. This is also the case for an employer to conduct social media background checks on prospective employees.
Suppose your business is going to conduct a social media screening in your hiring process. In that case, you need to commit to a strict ethical standard because not every post that makes you uncomfortable is going to be something that can genuinely disqualify a candidate.
When you factored social media into your hiring process, you need to remain consistent in your review of profiles. You will need to put together specific guidelines of what you can and cannot consider when looking at their profiles. You can tailor this to be different guidelines for specific positions, but you have to be rigid in those as well.
You must make sure that you do not violate any nondiscrimination laws in this process. You cannot factor race, class, religious views, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, disabilities, age, or birthplace into your reasons for not hiring someone. You may also want to include rules about political opinions, but that depends entirely upon your business and whether or not that would actually affect their ability to perform their job duties. It can be challenging to filter out your own personal bias in these evaluations, which is why it is imperative you have strict evaluation procedures in place before screening a candidate’s social media.
Only Screen Public Accounts
If an account is private, as many of them are, you can only evaluate the information available publicly. You cannot coerce a candidate into friending you to screen them or ask for a password to view their private information.
Only Evaluate Job-Related Content
You can only evaluate content that is related to the job you are hiring this person for. A Facebook post about a party they attended a few years ago is not something relevant to the job. Mostly with social media background checks, you are looking for illegal activity, safety concerns, harassment, and hostility. These can be important to be aware of before you hire someone, and social media can get you a good idea of if they are involved in anything like this.
Conducting social media background checks can be a time-consuming and challenging project for a hiring manager to undertake. It is nearly impossible for a person to see things they disagree with that they cannot take into account for hiring but may not be able to stop themselves. Choosing not to hire someone based on their social media risks violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, so this kind of screening can be a risky venture.
ACUTRAQ offers social media background screenings for an affordable rate, and it helps you ensure your hiring staff does not accidentally factor in something they should not on social media.