Social Media Background Checks

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Social media is a powerful tool. It can be used to define and brand yourself – for some, this can be either good or bad. Social media background checks are not a novel idea as employers have been using social media go research potential candidates for years.

Vanessa Junkin of the Carroll County Times reports on how social media affects today’s modern hiring process. Employers need be wary and potential employees be aware, there are rules in place for such a process.

Social media screenings for positions may only screen for certain types of information. As Junkin points out, these screenings may look for excessive use of vulgar language, racial remarks, inappropriate photos, and references to violent tendencies.

Vivian Luckiewicz of reports on some of the restrictions of such screenings. While there is no law against social media background checks, employers must continue to abide by fair practice hiring laws already in place. While conducting social media background checks, as with other background checks, employers may not discriminate against race, religion, age, disability, or gender.

Junkin interviewed Don McCombie, president and virtual CEO of NoWorriesIT. Junkin asked McCombie about the influence social media has on the hiring process.

“A candidate doesn’t become disqualified for just a silly comment,” McCombie said. “The check [is] more to see what the person’s character is like.

It is important to keep in mind not only how you and your peers view your social media presence, but also how potential employers view it as well.


SarinaRhinehart September 27, 2011 at 9:40 AM  

My friend’s dad is the academic dean at Dartmouth College, and he said that his staff runs social media checks on everyone who applies to Dartmouth.

These checks are real so everyone should monitor what they put on their Facebook page or Twitter account.

I agree with these checks because employers have the right to learn about the people they may potentially hire. Facebook is not somewhere one should post their innermost secrets and racy photos. Although it is a website to talk to friends, users still have to maintain a certain level of professionalism.

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