Questions to ask your HR department before running social media searches

Last week we considered a few of the questions that we think would be valuable for an organization to ask their background screening company before they start running social media searches. Today we'll go through some questions that a company should ask their HR department when considering whether it would be valuable to conduct social media searches.

Questions to ask your HR department

  • Can social media provide insight into employee behavior?

A candidate will typically put their best foot forward during a job interview, but a social media background check can reveal the true character of an applicant.

  • Can screening social media lower the risk of a negligent hire?

We understand that protecting your company's employees is a top priority. Social media background checks can weed out potential hires who might decrease workplace safety or become negligent hires.

Consider the following example: Company A interviewed Jane, thought she was a good fit for the job, and hired her. Two months later she physically assaulted a co-worker, who then sued the company for damages. Company B interviewed Jane, thought she was a good fit for the job, and then hired a third-party screener to run a social media background check on her. The report revealed that Jane posted a series of Tweets stating "I haven't had to smack a hoe since September. New record?" and "AJ just held me back to stop me from slapping this b**** at the club. Lol. Stay in ur lane." The information in this report prompted Company B's decision not to proceed with hiring Jane.

  • Would this save us money?

A bad hire is said to cost a company approximately 30% of the individual's first year potential earnings. Purchasing this type of screen helps employers avoid those risky hires. In doing so, they spend a small amount of money upfront to minimize the risk of spending thousands down the road to clean up the mess of a negligent hire.

  • Is it better to do this in-house?

It can be costly and time consuming to perform social media searches in-house. The average HR employee makes $17-35 an hour. HR employees are typically not trained on how to search for and identify their applicant's online presence. They may go down the rabbit hole, so to speak, looking at the wrong person's information.

In-house searches can also open the door to potential lawsuits. For example, an applicant can claim that they were discriminated against if they don't get the job and your company viewed their social media and protected class information.

  • Does conducting social media searches solve a problem?

This is the ultimate question that your company needs to consider. Have you had internal investigations? Do you have unruly employees? Is your workplace unstable? Has social media impacted your company? It's never too late to screen your employees. You can clean up your company today by reaching out to us here.


Contributing author: Caitlin Rogers