Should you use social media to evaluate new hires?

Should Doing a Background Check Online be Supplemented by Social Media Sleuthing?

As one of the human resource industry’s most outspoken voices, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), pulls no punches when taking a stand. But when experts were asked about the wisdom of using social media to online background check new employees online, both views were represented.

Use social media to check out new hires? Jonathan A. Siegel’s “Yes!” jumps off the page.

His counterpart, expert Joyce LeMay, offered an equally resounding “No!” 

Feeling conflicted, too? It’s understandable. About 77-percent of all employers ask their HR departments to probe Facebook and other popular sites to learn more about job candidates. What about you?   

Why you should use social media

  • It’s easy and accessible to find info on a job candidate that a standard background check online may not include.
  • You help protect your company from legal risks if you find relevant information.
  • You could spot red flags that negate a job candidate’s fitness, dodging a serious bullet.
  • You may learn positive things about a candidate that she’s too shy to reveal.
  • “Sometimes social media can be an employee’s best advocate,” say GlobalHR researchers.

 Why you shouldn’t use social media

  • The jury’s out on whether social media screening is unethical or possibly illegal, says LeMay.
  • “Would you follow an applicant home and peek into her front window?” she asks, comparing the two.
  • It’s too easy to misinterpret postings that have nothing to do with a candidate’s worthiness.
  • Hackers have posted negative information on social media accounts. Can you tell the difference?
  • Pictures, says LeMay, can “easily be taken out of context.” Could that wine glass hold grape juice?

Comprehensive Pre-Employment Background Checks Online Include Social Media Checks

Let do the probing for you!

In addition to government and other databases off limits to anyone but credentialed background check service entities like HireShield, we search social media on our clients’ behalf, looking for irregularities, disparities and the red flags you may not notice, and our fees are so reasonable, it makes no sense to waste staff time.

We don’t have to tell you that human resources departments are already stretched to the limit these days. By using an affordable clearing house like HireShield, HR professionals can trust the background data they receive from a single resource and get on with the business of helping employees in other important ways.

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