When it comes to workplace safety and reputation management, pre-employment background checks and drug testing have long been proven effective tools. However, reviewing a candidate’s social media presence can enhance traditional screening methods and provide valuable insight that should be considered in the hiring process – especially in today’s environment when social media behavior can be so easily scrutinized by customers and co-workers.
What exactly is a Social Media Profile screening?
Social Media Profile (SMP) screening reports uncover potential workplace safety issues but do not reveal personal details about a hire. Using social media to make hiring decisions is permissible by law, but searches must follow the guidelines set by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). With that in mind, companies can search public social media accounts for:
Racist, sexist, and discriminatory behavior
Intolerant social media statements are defined as derogatory language or behavior towards a protected group of people because of their protected class status. For example, a Florida Sherriff’s Deputy tweets of intolerant statements towards former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Muslim community ended up getting him fired.
Sexually explicit material
Content that has a sexual context, like this Colorado legal aide’s Snapchat mocking sexual harassment training, falls in this category. Posts and comments of a sexual nature or following, subscribing, and engaging with sexually-centric accounts will all be reported in the social media screening report.
Threats or acts of violence
Both statements and actions of violence are included on a profiles screening report. While some comments may seem hyperbolic, like a journalist’s January tweet wishing death on a group of protestors, workplace safety is the number one priority for screening social media.
Potential illegal activity
Content that alludes to illicit activities, from drug use to theft and beyond, will be flagged. Just because the applicant’s background and drug screen look good doesn’t necessarily mean they are squeaky clean, as is evidenced by this college student’s Instagram post bragging about harassing her roommate.
Do you have a well-rounded view of your prospective employees? Solutions from Employment Screening Services can help your company hire and retain a safe and productive workforce. To have an expert assist in establishing Social Media Profile searches for your organization, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.