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How To Do Social Media Checks For Employment | Everything You Should Consider


In addition to conducting legal identity screens, some companies are also beginning to look up their applicants online. In the twenty-first century, social media has become an integral part of life for both employers and employees. As an employer, social media is not just a tool to keep up with what your current or potential workers are doing. It is also essential to check your applicants and ensure they are who they say they are!

Nevertheless, before performing online background checks on job applicants, you must understand the right ways to do it. This article will explore different things you should consider when undertaking social media checks for employment purposes.

The Employee Should Be Aware

Do you have the go-ahead to look into your potential employee's social network? As an employer, you should inform your applicant beforehand that you intend to perform an online screening for ethical purposes. Moreover, for evidence that you have complied with federal law, you can request the applicant's written consent before looking through their social network. Once your candidates are aware of this exercise, you can ask them if they have anything that needs to be kept confidential before doing the check.

Designate The Right Person For The Exercise

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The objective here is to choose someone who is not biased to perform the identity verification process. However, how do you ensure that you have the right person? First, you should consider excluding any of the hiring committees. After interacting with the applicants before performing a pre-employment screening, anyone in the interviewing panel or committee may already have some bias towards them.

Also, to avoid any conflict of interest, ensure they do not have any personal relationship with the candidate. The less they know about them, the higher chances of ensuring equity and fairness during these pre-employment social media screens.

What Is Your Goal?

The purpose of social media screening during the recruitment process is to align the candidates' short-term, medium, and long-term objectives in your company. How are you looking to integrate social media with the job description as an employer? Once you have determined your goals for this applicant, you can specify what and what not to allow from them and their social background. Don't forget that social media checks for applicants should help find out more about the applicant's background and determine whether there is anything you need to be aware of prior to making a job offer. Moreover, how does this information affect the nature of your business?

Provide Specific Guidelines For Your Social Media Check

Once you have established your goals, you should be able to pick out a few key points that will help you evaluate whether an employee's social network fits your company. If you are outsourcing a company to do the checks, ensure you are clear on the deliverables. Eventually, you want to ensure that you hire the right person for your organization. Your company's brand and reputation may be at risk if you do not perform a thorough pre-employment online screen.

Do Not Be Biased

Equality is one of the virtues that every leader should have. In the event of a social media check, ensure you vet everyone or none at all. It is crucial to treat everyone equally, especially in the vetting process. Make this identity screen a part of your formal hiring policy to be on the safe side and ensure the regulations are followed.

Always Opt For The Less Expensive Approach

The conventional ways of doing pre-employment screens were time-consuming and costly. You want a strategy that will be swift since you urgently need an employee and with the least amount of financial strain possible on your business. Fortunately, you can verify your applicant's identity on Nuwber easily. As a result, you won't miss out on the screening of your applicants.

Only Check Publicly Accessible Information

There is a fine line between doing a social media background check and invading someone's privacy. To ensure you do not cross this line, you should look at only publicly available social media activity. Furthermore, asking for their passwords is illegal and can lead to legal action. You want to avoid this at all costs.

Perform Social Media Background Checks As the Last Step

Before using social networks, start by shortlisting prospects through conventional methods, including evaluating CVs, oral interrogations, and criminal history checks. With this approach, you are less likely to bear the lame of unfairness and claims from the candidate that their social background was why they did not qualify for the job. Your candidates should understand that apart from their social media background, other vital factors are in consideration before employment.

Always Document Your Findings

It is crucial to document facts that justify the decisions made. In this case, if you encounter any objectionable information leading to the disqualification of a candidate, be sure to record your findings to defend yourself against claims of prejudice. Note you will not always remember the teeny-tiny detail of everything that led to the decision forever, so journal it.

Verify Your Information Before Disqualifying Your Candidate

You cannot trust every piece of information that you find online. In this 21st century, everyone has access to social media, and online personas can be created, leading to false information. Hence, before attributing any information you find to your applicants, you must verify these details to avoid false allegations.


Examining a candidate's social media footprint before employment is a recruitment exercise that is gaining traction. The advantage is that these exercises improve employee screening to ensure they are an excellent fit for your business. We are all aware of the obvious red flags that an applicant may have throughout the recruiting process when doing pre-employment screens, such as unlawful activities and drug use. Use these strategies to stay compliant with the law, and get the most out of your social media background check.

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About The Authors

Keith Peterson

Keith Peterson - I'm an expert IT marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in various Digital Marketing channels such as SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), SMO (social media optimization), ORM (online reputation management), PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Adwords), Lead Generation, Adwords campaign management, Blogging (Corporate and Personal), and so on. Web development and design are unquestionably another of my passions. In fast-paced, high-pressure environments, I excel as an SEO Executive, SEO Analyst, SR SEO Analyst, team leader, and digital marketing strategist, efficiently managing multiple projects, prioritizing and meeting tight deadlines, analyzing and solving problems.

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