The Truth About Social Media Screening

Cellphone App Icons for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat Illustrating Social Media Screening

The sheer amount of information you can access about someone through social media is dizzying. As people continue to expand their digital footprints through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, recruitment specialists are also taking notice.

That said, everything isn’t fair game.

There’s no denying social media screening and its impact on hiring practices in recent years. There are, however, certain legal considerations to keep in mind before proceeding with a deep dive of a candidate’s activities on social media platforms.

In order to avoid potential legal issues, recruiters need to conduct social media screening ethically and in accordance with hiring regulations. It isn’t as simple as logging onto to Twitter to dig up dirt at random. No, that’s not part of a compliant process. Instead, there have to be well-established social media screening practices in place to legally determine whether the candidate is suitable for a particular role.

Social Media Screening

Before getting into the nitty gritty of how to legally use social media screening, it’s important to understand what social media screening entails.

The main goal of social media screening is to gain insights into a candidate that aren’t revealed in the interview process or a standard criminal record check. Depending on the job you’re hiring for, uncovering criminal, violent, racist, intolerant, and/or sexually explicit behaviours through social media screening may help you determine a candidate’s eligibility for the role.

Having said this, it’s important to recognize the role of bias, conscious or unconscious, in social media screening. If your organization’s in-house recruitment specialist already has a “gut feeling” about a particular candidate, that candidate may be out of the running before they’ve even seen something on social media they may deem to be a job risk.

As such, third-party screening services such as those by Certn are always a good idea. The service can provide compliant social media screening that only identifies the most relevant information to the job itself and the safety of employees.

Establish Consistent Social Media Screening Policies

When it comes to any type of recruitment strategy, social media screening included, consistency is always key.

Every recruitment process should lay out, in clear terms, how information is being collected and documented, how it complies with the employment laws of that state, province, and/or country, and what individuals have access and decision-making authority based on the information.

Accurate record keeping is also crucial to this process. If someone decides to pursue legal action, you need to prove that your decision not to hire them was job-related only.

How to Use Information Uncovered in Social Media Screening

Once you’ve legally and compliantly accessed information to a candidate’s social media profile (which much be public information by the way), you have to know what you’re going to do with it.

If you’re in the social media screening process, the information has to be related to the job. As a recruitment specialist, if you’re looking at irrelevant hiring factors such as race, religion, sexual orientation, or political affiliation, that can derail your entire recruitment process and open you up to a legal discrimination case.

Certn’s Social Media Screening

Let us handle the screening process for you and give you all the job-related information you need to make your next great hire. Book a demo today to find out how we can help perfect your hiring practices!