3 Top Tips for Taking Adverse Action on a Social Media Hiring Report


"Bianca, I know we need social media screening. It's not a question. But I have thousands of employees. What do I do with all these reports? What kind of decisions can I make and how easy will it be for my staff to make those decisions?"

These are great questions. Questions I get a lot.

These are questions all large companies have when first inquiring about how to implement Social Media Hiring Reports within their organizations. The complexity of social media content make it difficult to create a linear decision making process once the social media background screen is reviewed. Should we still hire this person? Was what they posted THAT bad? When will we know when the content violates our code of conduct or company values?

As I've helped companies implement a compliant, third party social media background screening policy, I've learned three very important things every employer should do when a candidate's Social Media Hiring Report comes back with adverse content:

1. Move quickly.

During the background screening process, positions are empty and waiting to be filled. Have a process ready for a designated individual or group to do an initial report review (it's usually the folks who review criminal background reports). If that person is new to reviewing such reports, have them reach out to Social Intelligence for our specialized Client Success Training where they can practice reviewing Social Media Hiring Reports or learn how to create a social media hiring matrix.

2. Escalate.

Since the initial background screen review is typically conducted by an individual or team assigned to review other background screens, consider who is the last line of decision making and have them only review escalated reports. This top tier decision making are for reports considered egregious enough to merit negligence or company harm.

FREE GUIDE: Social Media Screening and Criminal Background Checks: Your Pre-Hire Strategy for the Digital Age

3. Talk to the candidate.

Regardless of the what you find (no matter how bad), it's to your advantage to discuss the content with the candidate before making a decision on what next steps to pursue. A Social Media Hiring Report gives your team the opportunity to discover more about your candidate and why they may have made a decision to post adverse content like sexually explicit, racist/intolerant, potentially illegal or potentially violent material. Before pursuing the adverse action process or allowing the candidate to become an employee, a quick chat with a HR professional is often the best thing to do.

When in doubt?

Ask your social media screening provider. Social Intelligence has helped clients form their own social media policies, create processes around social screening best practices, and provided resources for how other organizations successfully maintain an ongoing social media review program.


Implementing Social Media Hiring Reports in your own business? Let us know how we can help! We love geeking out over FCRA compliance.