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Social Media Searches in the Hiring Process: Find Peace of Mind with Third-Party Expertise

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A growing number of employers include a review of job candidates’ social media postings as part of the hiring process.

A 2017 Career Builder Survey found that 70% of employers make it a practice to screen candidates social media accounts looking for red flags, but also, they say, for evidence of job qualifications and a “professional online persona.”

More than half of the employers surveyed acknowledged that social media content was a factor in deciding not to hire someone, citing reasons that ranged from “posting too frequently” to criminal behavior.

Other content that cost some candidates the job offer included an “unprofessional screen name,” poor communication skills, drinking or the use of drugs, sharing confidential information from a previous job, and “bad-mouthing” a previous employer or fellow employee.

On the other hand, 44 percent of the hiring managers reported that social media information they found favorable was a factor in deciding to extend a job offer, including information that supported a candidate's professional skills, showed evidence of great communication skills or creativity, or demonstrated a professional image.

Social Media Searches: In-house Hazards

But using such information is not as easy as it might seem. For one thing, it’s incredibly time consuming to dig it out.

How much time do you really have to scan through a year’s worth of posts, tweets, videos, Instagrams and status updates just to make sure that you’re not considering a job candidate who “posts too frequently”? What are you really looking for?

More importantly, how do you stay on the right side of numerous state and federal employment laws that prohibit the consideration of things like political or religious beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, age, pregnancy, and in some states, criminal history?

Once you come across those things, you can’t unsee them. No matter how fair-minded you or your hiring managers may be, you may be setting yourself up for a discrimination claim.

Searching through a job candidate’s social media history without clear boundaries and objectives is a minefield. But not searching poses its own risks. That’s why a growing number of employers are seeking third-party help.

Third-Party Social Media Searches: Protection without the Problems  

When done properly, social media searches can be a valuable tool in your hiring process. That’s why our partner, National Crime Search, has launched a social media search service that provides a comprehensive report based on a year’s worth of posting to any of the top 10 most popular social media sites including:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Google
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • Vine
  • Tumblr
  • Foursquare
  • Pinterest

Peace of Mind and Time Savings

With a National Crime Search social media analysis, you’ll get a report within two to three days that tells you what you need to know. You’ll get a sense of a candidate’s overall social media presence, and you’ll be alerted to signs of trouble, without the risk of stumbling across information that shouldn’t be considered – and without having to spend hours weeding through their vacation photos.

You’ll also have the protection that comes from using a process that is consistent, neutral and fair. And you'll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you didn't overlook publicly available information that could come back to bite you after you've made a hiring decision. National Crime Search also offers a full range of employment screening and background checks.

At FBG Holdings, we are committed to offering our clients the services and support they need to be able to provide their clients with the best possible service. Along with our sister companies Cachet Financial Services, Payroll Tax Management, SBS Payroll, and Time Rack, and partnerships with companies like National Crime Search, we offer solutions across the total landscape of HR and compensation needs from hiring, to onboarding, to benefits management, time and attendance tracking and payroll.

Contact us to learn what we can do for your business.

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