Recruitment Strategy

Social Media Background Check: A Guide For Recruiters and HR Personnel

Social media background check

As a recruiter, you know how challenging it can be to screen candidates and fill open positions with the right talent. There are many ways to assess candidates before hiring, such as reviewing their resumes, conducting interviews, checking references, and running legal background checks. But are these methods enough to give you a holistic view of the candidates and how they fit in with your company culture and expectations? That’s where a social media background check comes in handy.

If you’re looking for a way to gain more insights into your candidates’ personality, behavior, and values, a social media background check is one way to go, especially in a fast-paced recruitment scene such as today. In this article, we’ll explain what a social media background check is, what benefits it can bring to your hiring process, what red flags to look for on social media, and what tool you can use to conduct social media background checks efficiently and legally.

What is a Social Media Background Check?

A social media background check is the practice of reviewing a candidate’s social media and web presence to learn about them as a person and how they might fit in with the employer’s culture and expectations. It can be done by employers, recruiters, or screening agencies and can reveal information that is not available on a resume or cover letter. It usually involves scanning public profiles and posts on major social media platforms and is more relevant to some positions than others.

A social media background check is not the same as snooping or stalking someone online. It is done with the consent of the candidate and follows the guidelines of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to ensure compliance and fairness. A social media background check should also be consistent and objective, using predefined criteria and keywords to flag potential risks or issues.

Benefits of Social Media Background Check

Social media background checks can provide valuable information that can help you make better hiring decisions. Here are some of the benefits of checking a candidate’s social media:

  • Vetting culture fit: Some people post about their values, goals, and personality on their social media profiles, allowing you to get a sense of how they could contribute to the company culture. You can also see how they interact with others online, such as their friends, colleagues, or customers.
  • Verifying credentials: Social media enables you to confirm the details on a candidate’s resume or cover letter, such as their education, work history, skills, achievements, or awards. You can also check if they have any endorsements or recommendations from their network.
  • Identifying red flags: You can spot any signs of unprofessionalism, dishonesty, discrimination, harassment, violence, substance abuse, or illegal activity on a candidate’s social media that could pose a risk to your company’s reputation or safety.
  • Discovering hidden talents: Through a social media background check, you can uncover any skills or interests that a candidate may not have mentioned on their application but could be relevant or beneficial to the position or the company. For example, you may find out that they have a blog, a podcast, or a portfolio that showcases their creativity or expertise.

Checklist for Candidates with Bad Signs

While social media can reveal positive aspects of a candidate’s character, it can also expose some negative ones that could make them unsuitable for the job. Here are some red flags that you should look for on social media:

  1. Inconsistent information: If a candidate’s social media profile contradicts their resume or cover letter in terms of their education, work experience, skills, or achievements, it could indicate that they are lying or exaggerating about their qualifications.
  2. Badmouthing: A candidate’s negative posts about their current or previous employers, coworkers, clients, or competitors; made in bad faith, could suggest that they have poor work ethics, communication skills, or professionalism.
  3. Discrimination: If a candidate expresses or supports any form of discrimination based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or any other protected characteristic, it could imply that they have biased or prejudiced attitudes that could harm your company’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
  4. Harassment: A candidate who engages in or condones any form of harassment such as bullying, cyberstalking, sexual harassment, or threats could be a sign that they have violent or abusive tendencies that could endanger your company’s safety and well-being.
  5. Violence: Posts or shares from a candidate that depicts or glorifies violence, such as weapons, fights, crimes, or terrorism could tell you that they have aggressive or extremist views that could pose a threat to your company or society.
  6. Substance abuse: If a candidate displays or admits any signs of illegal substance abuse, it could suggest that they have addiction problems that could affect their performance, health, or judgment.
  7. Illegal activity: A candidate who participates in or advocates any illegal activity, such as fraud, theft, hacking, or piracy, could imply that they have criminal records or intentions that could jeopardize your company’s security or compliance.
  8. Unprofessionalism: Inappropriate language, usage of toxic slurs, posts indicating behavior that is destructive or destructive for others is also a red flag for making sure unprofessional behavior is avoided for your company.

Tools For Running a Social media Background Check

Conducting social media background checks manually can be time-consuming and tedious. You have to search for each candidate’s profile on different platforms, scroll through their posts and comments, and look for any relevant or concerning information. You also have to document your findings and make sure you follow the legal and ethical guidelines.

There are automated tools that can help you streamline your recruitment process with innovative features while allowing you to efficiently assess candidates through social media channels. An ATS (Applicant Tracking System) lets you do exactly that.

An ATS is software that helps you manage your hiring workflow from posting jobs to hiring candidates. It can help you automate tasks such as sourcing candidates, screening resumes, scheduling interviews, sending emails, and generating reports. It can also help you improve your candidate experience, collaboration, and analytics.

Manatal is a cloud-based ATS that comes with an innovative feature called Social Media Enrichment, which allows you to get to know your candidates beyond their CVs. It enriches your candidates’ profiles with data from their social media accounts such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and GitHub.

Accessing their public information such as education, work history, skills, interests, and contact details can be done with just one click. You can also see their posts and activities on social media and get a glimpse of their personality and behavior.

Manatal’s Social Media Enrichment feature can help you save time and effort in conducting social media background checks. You can get a comprehensive and accurate view of your candidates without having to leave the platform. Comparing candidates based on their social media data and making informed hiring decisions can be done quickly and efficiently.

Are you tired of sifting through countless resumes and social media profiles to find the right candidate for your organization? Say goodbye to the good old days of struggling with a daunting task and say hello to Manatal.

Imagine having access to a candidate's social media profiles, skills, and capabilities with just a few clicks. All can be possible with Manatal.

If you want to try Manatal’s Social Media Enrichment feature and see how it can improve your hiring process, you can sign up for its 14-day free trial today.

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