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.

Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Reports Aren’t Slow – Your Background Screening Provider Is.

Motor Vehicle Records Reports are important searches for many different industries. They provide valuable information about an applicant’s driving history. Driving infractions are not reportable in county or statewide criminal searches, so be sure to add a Motor Vehicle Search if you are hiring drivers for your company. The benefits are that you will be…
Read More

Background Checks for Remote Employees: Things to Consider

Conducting background checks on new hires continues to be a standard practice for most companies. The way many organizations operate, hire, and conduct business has changed. One of the biggest changes is the number of individuals who transitioned to working from home. Many employers are now offering teleworking options or even recruiting nationwide for candidates.…
Read More

Social Media Screening: What You Need to Know

Social media screening has become a hot topic in the industry and for good reason. It was discouraged by legal counsel and was thought of as a very risky hiring practice. The pre-employment screening landscape has changed, and now social media screening is a common hiring practice for commercial organizations and the federal government. Today,…
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.