Screening social media profiles is quickly becoming a popular tool for uncovering potential areas of workplace concern. Getting a complete portrait of the person you plan to hire is more critical than ever in an evolving workforce culture, and social media sites can efficiently supplement more traditional background screening programs.
Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) work to identify the best sources of information that would likely include concerning information about an individual and subsequently follow strict data quality and reporting guidelines that comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and related state laws. These laws specify what is reportable and can legally factor into hiring decisions. Social media is now included under these guidelines to protect employers and their staff.
This growing practice has left many Human Resources professionals with questions about social media screening. Employment Screening Services (ESS) asked the experts at Social Intelligence (SI), one of the industry’s leading social media CRAs, to answer some of the most common questions about Social Media Profiles.
As an employer, I tend to look up a candidate’s social media accounts on occasion. Why should I hire someone to do it for me?
A best practice is to refrain from reviewing candidates’ social media profiles internally. Our analysts only review profiles for content that match the following criteria: racist, sexist or discriminatory behavior, sexually explicit material, threats or acts of violence, and potentially illegal activity. Our review and social media report respect your candidate’s privacy and helps to protect your employees from making hiring decisions on unactionable information.
What is the benefit of hiring a third-party to screen my applicant’s social media?
It can be very costly and inefficient to try and do this type of screening in-house. Do you know you are looking at the right person? What exactly are you looking for or viewing? We have worked very hard at developing technology, operations, and various guidelines to ensure the reports are done in an efficient manner and are as accurate as reasonably possible.
How do the prospective employees dispute their screening report?
Before an employer takes adverse action against an applicant, it will privde a copy of the report to the applicant along with ESS’s contact information. The applicant can then contact ESS to file a dispute. ESS will in turn notify SI, and we will take immediate action by conducting a reinvestigation and providing back all additional evidence to ESS.
What if the report finds something that the candidate later deletes, either before or after they have viewed the screening results?
All reports are time stamped. It will be up to the employer to decide what they want to do with the results and findings.
What about catfishers? How do you verify that the account is truthful?
Our trained analysts use the matching criteria outlined in our proprietary Identifying Guidelines to distinguish the candidate correctly. Whether the information and the subject are a match is determined by combinations of the provided information. For example, an email address is considered a match. First and last name must agree with other provided information for identification such as date of birth or education. Using our technology, SI analysts are well-versed at using one verified profile to use and cross-reference to uncover other online identities. They are also very experienced in being able to identify the indicators of an account that is not “truthful.” In 2018, SI had a 99.96% success rate for correct identification.
How do you determine which sites to screen?
We have two products. One product, SMP-Pro, scans over 150 websites. The other product, SMP-Basic, looks at five specific sites, sites that were picked based on our data of where over 95 percent of flagged content is often found.
Are you ready to add Social Media Profiles to your background screening program? Solutions from Employment Screening Services can help your company hire and retain a safe and productive workforce. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!