Social Media Checks

Social Media Checks – keeping screening in line with the latest trends

We now live in a digital age and there is more information available about us than there has ever been before. However, some processes have not evolved to capitalise on this data. With nearly 40 million Facebook users, 22 million Instagram users and 16 million Twitter users in the UK alone, should you not assess all the possible risks associated with any new hire? By utilising open source data and the latest technology you can uncover an individual’s “online footprint” and gain an understanding of how they choose to engage with the world.

What exactly do Social Media Checks search for?

Our Social Media Check searches publicly available social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other non-disclosed linked accounts. It will highlight any candidate or staff social media activities which may be linked to:

• Encouragement of illegal activities
• Breach of company policy
• Leaked or likely to leak confidential company information
• Information sharing/posting inappropriate content
• Likely to impact on client relations
• Damage of company reputation

What may be more surprising is that inappropriate behaviour may appear at all levels of seniority, from the second Twitter account a CEO used to make highly political and vitriolic statements, to senior managers caught on video for football hooliganism.

A Social Media Check can also positively verify the suitability and cultural fit with an organisation by highlighting any volunteering activities or charitable work for example.

What type of roles would benefit from this check?

Social media screening can be carried out for any position within any industry. Security & Vetting Solutions recommend that social media screening may benefit senior or managerial roles, sensitive roles, media communication roles and roles that are public facing, particularly when supporting vulnerable groups.

Additionally, the latest version of the BS7858:2019 Security Standard and recent updates in Financial Conducts Authority (FCA) screening now recommend the inclusion of social media screening.

Our Social Media Check is a multi-lingual solution that can include candidates from all jurisdictions and review their posts in almost all languages; hence our Social Media Check would also suit international candidates.

It is also worth noting that we recommend that a recruitment decision should not be made based on social media screening alone.

Social Media Checks & the GDPR?

Our Social Media Check, along with all of our other services are fully GDPR compliant. As social media websites are publicly available websites, candidate consent to perform the check is not required. There is also no need to ask the candidates to provide their social handles as our platform will match all candidate profiles via their name, email and telephone number.

Whilst candidate consent is not legally required to process a Social Media Check, we at Security & Vetting Solutions recommend that you do advise the candidates that a Social Media Check will be conducted as part of the recruitment process and publish a Social Media Policy to ensure that you can manage any online behaviour that you or your clients might deem inappropriate.

Summary

Social media is an integral part of everyday life and it is important to understand whether social media screening would benefit your organisation for any particular roles. Additionally, we recommend that it is important to combine social media screening with other pre-employment checks and ensure that a Social Media Policy is available to all employees.

If your organisation requires Social Media Checks or you just wish to find out more information about this service, please call us on +44 (0) 1962 600 110 or email sales@security-vetting.co.uk and we will be pleased to assist.