Social Networking Sites in Background Screening

Have you ever wondered about the importance of social networking web sites when it comes to conducting background screenings on new employees?

According to the report “Trends in Employment Background Screening: 2011 Results,” of the nearly 800 employers surveyed, 78% use background checks on 80% of new hires. However, only a small portion of participants included social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in their review:

  • LinkedIn (10%)
  • Google/Internet (9%)
  • Facebook (8%)
  • Twitter (5%)

In 2009, CareerBuilder conducted a study that reportedly revealed that 45% of employers used social networking sites in their background screenings. This seems to contrast with this current report and may be reflective of the fact that more companies are developing social networking policies.

Regardless, employers who do utilize social media in their background screenings indicated that the information they found would influence how they evaluated a candidate for employment. Specifically, employers would not hire applicants if they found:

  • Lies about qualifications (73%)
  • Discriminatory remarks (65%)
  • Information about drinking or drug abuse (53%)
  • Bad-mouthing previous employer or employee (51%)
  • Provocative or inappropriate photos or comments (50%)

Keep in mind that experts warn about using information obtained from social networking sites due to EEOC and other regulations. Be sure to develop a corporate social networking policy that clearly outlines the use of such information.

In the meantime, for full service background screenings meeting Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance, TruDiligence offers a solid history of quality service. Contact us today and let us assist with your screening needs.

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