Harness Social Media for Background Checks

Harness Social Media for Background Checks

Everyone is on the social media these days, so do you think employment agencies should venture into it too? Well, they actually have. According to a recent research by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 76% of companies said that they do use or are planning to use social media sites for recruiting. The social media is a great tool to find out general details about potential employees; especially from websites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Social media can provide details about a candidate’s work history, quality of work (recommendations on LinkedIn), etc.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that these public profiles may also contain private details which might be unnecessary from an employment perspective. An employer has no right to tread into a candidate’s private life.

Another important thing an employer should avoid is asking a candidate for his/her password to an online profile. Recently, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services came into a lot of negative publicity for asking a candidate’s Facebook password. With the help of the ACLU of Maryland, the candidate got justice when the state of Maryland passed a bill making it illegal for employers to ask candidates for passwords to their private lives.

The social platform of course has two-way-traffic where the candidates also evaluate job opportunities by visiting a company’s website. Companies should thus have a presence on sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc., where they talk about their work culture, visions and career opportunities.

Employers should also keep in mind that web profiles may not be genuine and there are chances of misplaced identities. Social media may be popular but that does not make it an absolute tool for background checks.