The Truth About Social Media

Research indicates as much as 77% of employers routinely “google” candidate’s names to learn risks or social behaviors that indicate suitability for a position and/or for fitting into the company culture.

Employers agree that performing Social Media Searches help organizations:

  • Research a candidate’s character, accomplishments and professionalism.

    Social Media Searches can positively represent applicant’s personality, communication style, interests, creativity, image, references, as well as endorse qualifications, promote awards, and demonstrate an ability to fit in well with the company’s culture.

  • Uncover behaviors that pose increased risk to the organization

    Social Media searches can reveal negative attributes when language, communication skills, or photographs are inappropriate, sexual posts, indications of drinking, drug, or gun use, criminal behavior, lies about qualifications, or undesirable attitudes that may jeopardize company harmony.

  • Determine candidate’s overall fitness for a position

    An applicant’s social profiles often reveal information such as a candidate’s interests, hobbies, or family histories that better indicate suitability for a particular job.

  • Avoid potential claims for negligent hiring or retention

    Social Media checks help employers avoid negligent hiring or retention lawsuits that might be brought when social media indicates a risk of workplace violence. By reviewing Social Media reports, employer can better meet a reasonable standard of care for avoiding hiring someone who “they should have known” presented a foreseeable risk.

But when employers perform their own social media screenings, these searches often violate applicant’s legal rights provided by FCRA, EEOC, and state laws, causing the following pitfalls:

  • Increased potential for learning discriminatory and protected class information

    Whether intended or not, when viewing Social Media employer can discover information on applicant age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, religious affiliation, disability, medical condition, and/or political or labor organization opinions. Once viewed, this information cannot be unlearned. Even if a candidate is excluded from employment for a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason, the fact that the employer has observed this information exposes risk to discrimination lawsuits claiming disparate treatment or impact.

  • Information may not be accurate

    When using Social Media there is no guarantee information is factual, correct, or related to the individual being searched. This invites the possibility of incorrectly prejudging a person’s ability using wrong, inaccurate, or irrelevant information.

  • Lack of Company Policy or Process for Informed Consent

    Many employers lack a process for disclosing intent to perform a social media check or for gaining candidate consent. This make it more difficult to share results that affect decisions, and provide opportunity for candidate’s to challenge, verify, or establish the information as incorrect.

  • Concerns with privacy

    Employers must hurdle some ethical concerns that accessing Social Media Search information may violate employers and applicant’s right to privacy.

  • Social Media Checks are Time Consuming and Resource Intensive

    Searching internet social media is a resource intensive, manual effort engages hours of key word and name searches across scores of web sites and search engines. Sometimes this requires specialized systems knowledge to expertly find and access data. Many organizations find the job of manually purging the internet for candidate information takes too long, is impractical and even frustrating. It is also a challenge to produce a repeatable, consistent, and compliant search result.

How Social Media Screening Works

RiskAware’s Social Media Screening leverages state of the art technology to deliver fully-compliant reports you can utilize in your hiring decisions. Here’s an overview of the process:

  • Candidate’s information is entered into RiskAware’s secure Background Check System.
  • The report is then matched against a list of over 1,000 positive and negative reference points to surface the most critical social media posts indicating your candidate.
  • This final report is delivered to you, including screen captures and clickable web links – dated and time stamped.
  • Our sophisticated searching algorithm pushes your candidate information to top search engines and social networks for results matched to your candidate.
  • The generated report is sent to our investigators, who verify data accuracy and review for legal compliance.

RiskAware Provides the Social Media Information You Need, Avoiding the Risks You Don’t

By combining the power of sophisticated internet search technology with the research skills of our FCRA certified Licensed Private Investigators, we are able to comb the deep web for comprehensive social profile data on your candidate, then examine it for accuracy and legal compliance.

RiskAware’s Social Media Screening Key Benefits:

Our Social Media Checks Are Comprehensive and Compliant

RiskAware works with top national and regional Human Resource / Employment legal counsel to gain opinion and remain informed on laws and regulations relating to Social Media Reporting policies and practices. RiskAware’s FCRA Certified Private Licensed Investigators train continually and remain up-to-date on anti-discrimination law. As well, we are guided by the latest in Social Media Research especially that of our founder.

RiskAware’s Checklist of Social Media FCRA and Legal compliance:

  • RiskAware offers a consistent, repeatable process for performing and utilizing Social Media Searches for personnel decisions
  • RiskAware searches only public information and is “not friending”, overriding privacy settings, or calling for passwords or permissions.
  • RiskAware supervises and requires applicant consent and disclosure.
  • Negative information is verified by RiskAware Investigators at the source.
  • Information not triple matched to your candidate; over seven (7) years old; displaying protected class, discriminatory, or meaningless references; or from unreliable web sites are redacted from final reports by RiskAware’s FCRA Certified, Private Licensed Investigators.
  • Final reports are date and time stamped.
  • RiskAware supports an Adverse Action / Dispute and Resolution Process for addressing incorrect or wrong information.