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Pros and Cons Of Social Media Background Checks For Employers

Written by : Ginni Agarwal | On :13-08-2021
Background Check

Social media is an integral part of life. According to studies, we spend a lot of time on social media. It gets accounted for at least 4-6 hours per day. It is an ideal platform for recruiters to search for star candidates. And the question is: should employers check social media? 

According to HRs, they browse social media to search for their ideal candidate, be it Linkedin platform, Facebook for social media background check and Twitter, and even on Instagram. Social media provides valuable insight into the life of a candidate. 

The social media background check has become a part of the recruitment process. The recruiters now have added the step of verifying them via their social media profiles. 

But social media background checks always work? Is it that viable and full-proof move forward with the candidate? The debate is whether to stick with the traditional methods or get ahead of the competition by implementing social media recruiting. 

There are pros and cons of every process, and the same is with social media background checks. A recruiter must consider the pros and cons before implementing. Let us take a deep look at the pros and cons: 

Pros Of Social Media Background Checks

1. Background check is easier

Social media is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to do a background check. The recruiter has complete access and can make an immediate decision. 

In the long term, it saves a lot of time to know about the candidate via Facebook background check and Linkedin profiles. A recruiter does not need to spend extra money on this. The cost that recruiters and companies shell out on background checks is enormous. So the company can cut down on the financial front. 

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Facebook videos provide an insight into the candidate’s life, how they behave and perform everyday tasks. Twitter shows the opinions of the candidates and their thoughts. Linkedin helps to know about the candidate’s professional background and connections. With all these aspects available on the internet, it is easier for the recruiter to learn about the candidate. 

2. Learn about the recommendations of the candidate

The recruiter can read the recommendations of the candidate given by the employers. The most suitable platform is Linkedin. This platform has gained a lot of popularity for employers to know about their future candidates. 

It acts as an added advantage to select the right candidate as the verification gets done by the current or past employers. It helps to know how a candidate will create an impact in the business.  

The employer will learn how the candidate has managed to work through the challenges due to work. 

3. A social media background check helps to notice red flags

Is your star candidate not behaving in the way you thought? Does a candidate who seemed friendly in the interview have begun to crack jokes on Twitter? If that is the case. Social media background checks help to differentiate between the star and unsatisfactory candidates. 

Other background checks do not tell you the flaws, but social media will offer the red flags loud and clear. Someone who bad mouths or shares a negative opinion. So, you can pass it over when you are hiring. 

4. The opportunity of the candidate

Social media platforms are the best thing that is around in the market. It is not only for people to meet and connect with new people. It is a space where individuals can decide how people can perceive them. 

Nowadays, it is critical to stay current in various web spaces and interact with people you might not otherwise have the opportunity to interact with face to face.

The candidate should concentrate on their social media image, conduct research, and get references on how the best people in the industry maintain a successful online presence.

5. It eliminates discrepancies 

Background checks on social media are a decent way to double-check the information on a candidate’s resume. The user’s previous occupations and work history gets displayed on social media sites.

You can compare their resumes to see any inconsistencies in their application for the open position. A candidate may also claim to be an expert in a particular field or take part in volunteer activities. The majority of this information is verifiable on their social media platforms.

6. Skill verification

Skill verification through social media background checks benefits employers by confirming candidates’ expertise with tangible evidence such as project showcases and community interactions. Unlike static resumes, social media platforms offer real-time demonstrations of skills, providing a dynamic understanding of candidates’ abilities.

It enables employers to assess both technical and soft skills, including communication and industry engagement, facilitating more informed hiring decisions. Overall, social media background checks offer a comprehensive and accessible means of verifying candidates’ skills, enhancing the accuracy and depth of the hiring process.

Cons Of Social Media Background Checks

1. Lack of reliability 

For everything, social media is not the most reliable source of information. It does not inform the employer of the candidate’s criminal record or any other personal information that the employer may need to be aware of but that the candidate may be concealing.

It does not inform the employer of the candidate’s criminal record or any other personal information that the employer may need to be aware of but that the candidate may be concealing. There are many accounts with the same name or a fake account. It increases the risk of discovering the correct social media account.

2. It can act as a way of violating privacy

For many people, social media is a private space. They interact with their friends and other people, so their behaviour in the office is not guaranteed.

The professional and personal aspects of a candidate cannot get combined. Because most people adopt a different persona in different situations, depending on their surroundings and the people with whom they interact.

The candidate’s privacy gets invaded by social media background screening. The information they share on these platforms is for personal use. 

As a result, inspecting these data for hiring is invading personal space without permission.

3. Increase in bias

Due to social media screening, an employer develops a preference for a particular candidate and favours them over others who are more deserving.

When a person sees and learns about the things they like or have in common with their boss, they will develop an emotional attachment to that person.

This attraction does not imply that the candidate is the best candidate for the job. The candidate who has nothing in common with the employer is a better fit for the job.

4. It may be a waste of time

Social media background checks as a social media strategy might be a failure. One of the most significant drawbacks of social media background checks is their unpredictability. When you do not have mutual friends or connections. It gets difficult finding people on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Even if you find your ideal candidate, privacy settings on social media platforms may prevent you from seeing their posts. Background checks on social media can be a lot of work with little to no payoff.

Summing It Up

Social media background check looks surprising to implement, but it is not a sure and proven way to analyse a candidate selection. The debate is still on for some recruiters, it works, and for some, it does not. 

You can rely on social media background checks, and also opt for other background checks before making a final call. We at Upright know the importance of a star candidate. Thus you can trust us with the complete background check process. 

Background Check Services Provided By UprightHC 

  • Education background check
  • Reference background check
  • Residential address check
  • Social media background check
  • Criminal background check
  • Credit history check


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