One of our partners, Sterling Talent Solutions, recently published a blog post about social media screening. Their post breaks down some of the potential risks of using social media during the hiring process. They also discuss ways of mitigating those risks. It is well worth the read, but here are a few highlights:
Social media is on the rise among many demographics
It does not appear that social networking sites will be going away anytime soon. The number of social media users worldwide is projected to grow to at least 2.5 billion by 2018. In past years, women were more likely to use social media sites, but one study found that men are closing the gap. Likewise, social media usage among people ages 65 and older has tripled since 2010.
As social media usage increases, more and more companies are turning to social media to find information about their job candidates. In 2015, 52% of US employers used social networking sites to research perspective employees. That number jumped up to 60% the following year.
Avoid the risks of in-house social media screening
Social media is a powerful tool that can be utilized to help hiring managers learn more about potential employees. At job interviews, and on their resumes, candidates will typically present themselves as they want to be seen. However, social media accounts can provide a better picture of the candidate's true character.
As helpful as social media can be during the hiring process, it can also be risky for a corporation's HR department to look directly at their job candidate's accounts and profiles. Each state has a list of its own protected classes (such as political affiliation and source of income), in addition to the existing federally protected classes (including gender and national origin). These protected classes are designed to prevent discrimination. Because of that, running social media searches in-house can open up your company to discrimination claims and breach of privacy laws.
Protect your company
The best way to protect your company from these risks is by using a third party screening provider to run the searches for you. Our social media hiring reports are designed so that all federally and state protected class information is redacted. That way no one from your organization makes a hiring decision based on information that they shouldn't have seen. You can find out more about our product here.
Contributing author: Caitlin Rogers
About the author
Caitlin Rogers is the Client Services Coordinator for Social Intelligence. Her tenure in the social media background screening industry makes her one of the foremost experts in online behavioral screening.