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  • Writer's pictureKevin

How Employers Can Follow Social Media For Running Background Checks on Applicants and Employees!

It is already a growing trend for employers to use social media as part of their background checks on applicants and employees. The use of social media in the hiring process raised concerns about privacy and potential bias. Employers often cited the practice as a means of gaining additional insights into a candidate's character, behavior, and alignment with the company culture. However, there were also cases of information being misinterpreted or used inappropriately during the hiring process.

To address these concerns, various jurisdictions had begun to implement laws and regulations to govern how employers can use social media for background checks. Some regions prohibited employers from requesting social media passwords or access to private accounts, emphasizing that only publicly available information should be considered. Given the increasing importance of data privacy and concerns about online security, employers were also encouraged to exercise caution and follow best practices when using social media as a part of their screening process. This includes focusing only on job-relevant information and ensuring that the process is fair and unbiased.

For the most current and accurate information about the use of social media for background checks on applicants and employees, I recommend checking the latest news or consulting legal experts and official guidelines in your specific jurisdiction. Employers were increasingly getting inclined towards using social media for background checks on applicants and employees due to several reasons:

1. Easy Accessibility: Social media platforms are easily accessible, and a vast amount of information about individuals is readily available online. Employers can quickly search for and review public profiles of candidates and employees without the need for extensive background checks. 2. Additional Information: Traditional resumes and interviews might not provide a comprehensive picture of a candidate's personality, interests, or behavior. Social media profiles offer additional information that employers believe can help them make more informed hiring decisions. 3. Cultural Fit Assessment: Employers often seek candidates who not only possess the necessary skills but also align well with the company's culture and values. Social media can provide glimpses into a candidate's hobbies, interests, and activities, which can be indicative of their cultural fit within the organization. 4. Skills Validation: Some candidates may claim certain skills or experiences on their resumes, but social media profiles can serve as evidence to validate these claims. For example, a graphic designer may showcase their portfolio on platforms like Behance or Instagram. 5. Networking and Industry Connections: Platforms like LinkedIn allow employers to assess a candidate's professional network and connections. This information can be valuable in understanding their industry involvement and potential for collaboration. 6. Assessing Communication Skills: How a candidate communicates online can offer insights into their writing abilities, professionalism, and overall communication skills. 7. Verifying Background Information: Employers may use social media to verify employment history, educational background, or other details provided by candidates.

Despite these potential benefits, using social media for background checks also comes with challenges and risks. Employers need to be cautious about avoiding bias, respecting privacy, and ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations. There's also a need to be mindful of how information from social media is used during the hiring process to prevent discrimination or invasion of privacy.

As social media continues to be an integral part of people's lives, employers must approach social media background checks responsibly and consider whether the information gathered is directly relevant to the job at hand. It's essential to strike a balance between gathering useful insights and respecting the privacy and rights of candidates and employees.

Hireblox is a full service staffing and recruitment agency that can help you throughout the process of finding your next dream job, so do not hesitate to contact us.

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