You finally found the perfect candidate for the position that has been haunting you for two months. His resume is close to perfect, the interviews were awesome, and everything is clear on his background checks. Then, you look at his social media accounts and find a recent post threatening to blow up the local convenience store where your mother-in-law shops.
Was the social post a joke, or a sign of something serious? More importantly, how should the readily accessible information found in today’s social media platforms influence your hiring decision?
The rise of accountability for social media behavior is getting a lot of public attention — from comedian Kevin Hart’s homophobic tweets resulting in his removal as the Oscars host in December 2018 to Professor Ken Storey being fired after discriminatory tweets towards Republicans. Analyzing an applicant’s social media accounts may be useful in protecting your company’s reputation and maintaining a safe and productive workforce.
However, strict regulatory requirements plus the subjectivity in deciding if a particular post warrants adverse action are tough issues for Human Resource professionals considering how social media content should be used in the hiring process.
Traditionally, businesses have relied on Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) to provide background checks and drug testing protocols – and for good reasons. CRAs adhere to strict data quality and reporting guidelines that must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and ensure reports won’t be used in a way that violates federal or state equal employment laws.
While background criminal records can be challenging to locate and confirm, it’s relatively easy to find someone on multiple social media platforms. However, the Federal Trade Commission is clear when it comes to Social Media reports, “regardless of the type of information you use when making hiring decisions, the rules are the same.”
CRAs are introducing sophisticated products that provide consistent FCRA-compliant reports that escalate relevant concerns such as harassment, violence, hostility, bullying, or discrimination. Essentially, these reports protect the applicant’s privacy while also providing valuable behavior insight that can be used in the hiring process without violating discrimination laws.
As with all background screening products, one size doesn’t fit everyone. For the past 25 years, we’ve been taking a very personal approach in helping clients design and effectively manage their background screening solutions. It’s our responsiveness plus the certainty of our service that sets us apart. For more information on our FCRA-compliant Social Media Profile click here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.