Why It's Essential To Use Social Networking Sites When Conducting Background Checks On Job Applicants

Posted on: 17 April 2015

If you're an employer, then you know how challenging it can be to find qualified workers. This is because you want individuals who will embrace your workplace's values. However, running background checks on job applicants is another critical step of the hiring process. While traditional background checks relied heavily on the use of law enforcement and/or financial databases, modern screening measures incorporate social networking sites. This article discusses why such sites must be included in your background screening process.

Social networking sites are increasingly being used for hiring purposes

According to a report from Careerbuilder, the proportion of companies using social networking sites for hiring purposes has been rising steadily over the past few years. Indeed, that percentage jumped between 2012 and 2014, as it went to 43% from 36%.

Social networking sites help you find out the truth about job candidates

Evaluating an applicant for employment is more than simply looking at their credentials. Indeed, it consists of having as much information as possible about them that might be used to determine whether they are a great fit for the advertised position. In a 2011 report that included feedback more than 750 companies, EmployeeScreenIQ listed a number of discoveries employers might find via social media that would keep them from hiring an applicant (page 11). These include but aren't limited to:

  • Lies about qualifications
  • Discriminatory statements
  • Drinking or drug use habits
  • Negative remarks about previous employers

Having access to this type of information will help you better understand who you're dealing with in the job application's review process.

Make sure you don't overuse the information collected from social networking sites

While the federal government understands that you want to be sure to hire the right candidates, it also warns against the overuse of the information collected from those websites. In particular, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) constantly reviews the reasons why employers decline positions to individuals who are seemingly qualified to perform the related job duties.

One way to avoid being sanctioned by the EEOC is by detailing on your company's website what you expect from potential candidates. For example, you may state that your working environment promotes cultural diversity and that new hires must be willing to collaborate with individuals from all corners of the globe.

Relying on social networking sites for hiring purposes is becoming commonplace because it allows employers have better knowledge about job seekers. This is why you need to start working with a background check company, like Fingerprinting Pros. They can can give you access to more detailed information about potential candidates.