Social media as part of pre-employment background checks

Employers are today more likely to carry out pre-employment background investigations on workers they intend to hire. To the potential workers, the checks may be cause for stress, especially if their past features a few things they would like to keep out of the public eye. To the employers, the checks are necessary to shed light on the personalities, possible synergy with the company culture and even prove the trustworthiness of the employees they are on the verge of adding to their workforce. Employers in all sectors/industries conduct the checks or even have professional private investigation agencies to carry out the checks for them. The job for a private investigator to perform a pre-employment background check has become a bit easier thanks to social media platforms.

How are the checks done?

Pre-employment background checks are all about seeking vital information the employees may have kept hidden from their resumes. The checks also seek to confirm if the employees were truthful with the details they provided regarding their historical and current lives. At this point, it’s worth stating that the checks are unlike police investigations looking into every area of your life. The checks are not a microscopic examination into your life, more of an overview. Private investigators can only look into your public records, or anything you have voluntarily posted on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or LinkedIn.  Other platforms like Google +, Tumblr, What’sApp, Pinterest, and YouTube can give valuable information about potential employment candidates that employers will consider before giving you an interview, much less a job.

Why using social media during background checks is important?

In the last 10 years, people have become increasingly more comfortable sharing personal details about their life, their habits, their families, their likes and dislikes and their personal opinions on politics, religion, world affairs and often their co-workers and their job environment.  Employers can tell a lot about a person’s character, their work ethic, their ability to handle conflict, their ideal job and how they spend their free time by scoping their social media accounts. For some people, especially younger members of the workforce, they post almost every minute of their lives on-line.  They tweet their opinions, and Instagram their night out with friends and Facebook their conversations with friends about work. Oddly, those who are avid on-line posters, seem to think their information is private and don’t even think about potential employers searching their profiles and viewing their drunken Friday night escapades, let alone the millions of other social media users who are connected through friends and friends of friends.  Social media and professionalism seem to not go hand in hand with most people.

How social media hurts the employee, but helps the employer.

Private Investigators will take all social media platform information and view it as a whole vs. a single post.  When viewed together, the posts that appear across a variety of social media platforms can often reveal interesting patterns of behavior and character that could be deemed critical to a potential employer.  How people have behaved on social media when they have lost previous jobs, or gotten into conflicts with co-workers will often dictate how this person will behave when they work for your company.  By private investigators doing a thorough pre-employment background social media check, they can save the employer a lot of time, money and potential law suits.