Are You Performing “Social Media Background Checks” on Top Candidates?


While most employers conduct criminal background checks as part of the standard hiring process, not everyone takes the time to run social media background checks.  Not only can this help create a clearer picture of the candidate overall, it may also uncover certain red flags that may suggest they are not the best candidate for you or your business.

Before you give a prospective employee an official offer, examine their social media accounts to look for these warning signs.

Illegal Behavior

Many social media users post information about themselves that they may not speak of directly.  For example, they may brag about the use of illegal substances, with pictures posted of their associated exploits, or underage drinking, for candidates under the age of 21.  If your business has policies regarding the use of illegal substances, this information may be enough to remove a candidate from consideration.

Some people have been known to post information after they have committed other crimes, such as theft or vandalism.  As with the aforementioned illegal substance use, this could also make a candidate seem like a less than ideal selection.

Acts of Intolerance

If a candidate seems to have a pattern of displaying information that is racist, sexist, or otherwise discriminatory in nature, this can be an indication of their general attitudes about those particular groups.  Not only can this demonstrate potential issues for working in a diverse workplace, it can also impact your customers and clients negatively.

For those being considered for a high-ranking or public-facing position, these negative viewpoints may ultimately damage the reputation of your business through simple association.  Additionally, discriminatory actions or statements may open up the company to potential lawsuits regarding the employee’s activities.

Negative and Hostile Comments About Previous Employers

Since many people are more open when engaging on social media, they may choose to “badmouth” their current or previous employers through social media.  While it is true that people often discuss negative workplace experiences with friends and family, a pattern of excessive negative commentary may be considered a warning sign regarding how the person will react to requirements at your business.  With that in mind, it is important to try and identify the nature of the comments.

If the person was just generally expressing frustration with a particularly frustrating project, or technical issues causing a delay in their normal duties, that may not be cause for concern.  However, if they regularly belittle or insult their bosses or co-workers, they may be a sign that they will not be able to work effectively with a team.

Be Methodical in Your Actions Relating to Social Media Information

While certain areas of concern that are found in social media postings can be a legitimate reason to cease the consideration of a particular candidate, it is important that information regarding a protected category is not used as a determining factor.  For example, a candidate may indicate their religious or political preferences, or they may divulge information regarding a medical condition.

If you are interested in learning more about how social media background checks can help in your recruiting process, or would like help hiring your next star employee, the professionals at CPS Recruitment® are here to help.  Contact CPS Recruitment® today.




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