Social Media Checks – Why should we consider these?
These days, there seems to be a social media story in the news almost every week. Whether it be personal story or related to an outcome due to posts that have been made or commented on, this is something organisations are now thinking about how an employees’ social media activities could impact on their business.
Almost every applicant for a job role has a sizeable social media presence. This can be from well-known platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Tik-Tok to less known niche services such as gaming sites, political affiliation and associations with extreme view.
Such sites can provide you with a vast pool of information about a persons’ beliefs and attitudes. You can learn a lot about a person from looking on their social media platforms and reviewing their activity.
As social media stories are becoming more and more prevalent in mainstream news, these social media checks are extremely useful as it is now becoming common practise to review a person’s social media footprint during the recruitment process. Our social media checks can reduce the risk to your brand and reputation.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”.
We would highly recommend a social media risk assessment will become a standard part of the recruitment process and offer an enhanced assessments to compliment any interview. Just like organisations have policies for the recruitment of ex-offenders, many organisations are adopting a social media policy for their employees and embedding this within their contracts of employment.
What can social media checks show?
Our social media check identifies the persons’ online presence and looks for negative behaviours, language, issues relating to drugs, crime, or other such antisocial participation.
The social media check would provide a full report detailing any information that has been found utilising a convenient flag system that highlights any posts or comments which could be deemed as harmful to your company reputation. Details of the post and comments are also provided to give yourselves a full insight into what might trigger a flagged response. The report would show if any of the above has been found across any accounts held by the applicant that are in the public domain. This includes but not limited to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, Google, Skype and My fitness App.
When might you conduct a social media check?
We would recommend than an organisation performs this check during the pre-employment recruitment stage. Social media checks can be performed within a few days and can be completed as part of full and comprehensive vetting package.
Please could we make you aware that for example, a Facebook account set to Family and Friends only is not in the public domain and is considered a closed account. Only information in the public domain can be sought.
Making the applicant aware of the check.
In our experience, most of us don’t like surprises, especially ones that may have a negative impact or bearing upon us. Information in the public domain is classified as public from a Data Protection point of view and therefore the applicants’ permission on a technical level does not have to be sought to perform a social media check. However, for the sake of good ethics and employee relations we would strongly recommend that all candidates are advised that such checks will be performed as part of your organisation’s recruitment process. Organisations might also wish to consider how they might tackle a negative social media profile with an applicant before the situation is present and urgent!
If you would like to see an example of our social media check report, please do contact us.