Skip to content

Are there problems with social media background checks


With social media websites effectively being free databases of information on their users, many employers are using sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn to perform their own background checks on job applicants. Facebook background checks are a prominent occurrence, due to the regularity of Facebook privacy changes. As users don’t keep up-to-date with the changes, they often leave their personal information accessible to anyone who views their profile.

So although this seems like a great way for employers to find out a little more about potential employees, what are the problems with using social media profiles for background checks, and what are the possible consequences?

The main issue is discrimination. Legally, employers cannot discriminate when hiring – but if an employer checks someone’s Facebook page, then they will become privy to personal information that may affect their decision. The consequences of using this information wrongly can include discrimination lawsuits and claims of invasion of privacy from job applicants.

The second issue to consider is the accuracy of the information. The majority of people see sites such as Facebook as a fun way to keep in touch with friends, and therefore may not provide accurate or serious information. Religious views and political views are just a few examples of aspects of people’s pages that are often played around with, and will not necessarily relate to the true views of the individual. By looking at an applicant’s Facebook page, an employer may not be getting an accurate portrayal of the individual at all – which would be completely counter-productive.

A safer and more reliable way to perform a background check is to hire a background screening company. By using social networks as free ways to check up on someone, you could be taking just as much risk as by not performing any checks at all.]]>

You May Also Like

Check out these additional posts from Mind Your Business.

Hire Qualified Seasonal Employees with a Certified Background Check

Black Friday 2019 is just weeks away, and retailers across the nation are already searching for qualified seasonal help. Finding good seasonal employees that are dependable, honest, and skilled in customer service means happier customers and larger sales. A worthy goal considering that last year Americans spent over $700 billion during the holiday season! Not…
Read More

Be Inspired: Podcast featuring MYB, Inc. Founder and CEO Karen Caruso

The word “no” can take you pretty far in life. Need proof? Listen to the podcast from September’s Power of Partnering Marketplace Conference. Karen Caruso, founder and CEO of MYB, Inc., reveals on GWBC Radio how the word “no” pushed her to use her existing job skills to create her own business. Learn how the…
Read More

Business Myth Busters: What Is a Certified Background Check?

In today’s business economy, background checks are a standard part of the pre-employment process. With so many options available, how do you ensure you’re receiving a certified background check? We tackle some of the myths surrounding the industry. Myth: A certified background check is too expensive.Truth: A low-cost or free report usually means the company…
Read More

Quality and Precise Results, On Time!

Let us know about your screening needs to get a custom quote. We work with businesses big and small as well as the government. Which means we have a package of solutions for your organization as well.