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Social Media Background Checks for Vetting Potential Candidates Online

November 19, 2020

Social media—love it or hate it—reveals the good, the bad, and the ugly in almost everyone who has it. It’s also instantly accessible and often provides much more than a resume. For these reasons and more, using social media for background checks is no longer considered something recruiters do passively or occasionally. Instead, it has become a consistent and integral part of hiring best practices. 


According to CareerBuilder, approximately 70% of employers reported scanning social media platforms of potential candidates in 2018. And, based on what they found, 60% of applicants were scratched off the list. 


Learn more about why you should make social media screening part of your hiring strategy, and the best way to go about the process. 

Steps for Recruiting New Employees (Step One: Know the Risks)


Vetting job candidates via social media background checks is nothing new. In fact, recruiters were likely the first bunch to begin integrating social media scanning as part of their routine applicant process. It’s important to understand that, while the process of looking at potential employees’ social media platforms has been around for a while—so have the laws that closely monitor the use and legality surrounding social media background checks. 


A decade ago, in 2010, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) started to receive proof of disciplinary actions against employers that violated the federal labor law. This brought to light several serious issues surrounding discriminatory protections for employees and candidates under the  U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC), as they directly related to social media. 


Now, ten years later, one of the major lessons learned surrounding recruiting and social media scanning is that you have to be extremely careful in vetting job candidates and employees this way. The major problem of recruiters (and their firms) doing the checks themselves—human bias. And here is where third-party scanning comes in!

Third-Party Social Media Screening: The Safer, Smarter Option


There are two major reasons why a third-party online reputation management company, like LifeBrand, can save recruiters from bias, legal problems, and headaches:


  1. We are EEOC and FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) compliant


  1. We utilize technology exclusively powered through artificial intelligence (AI)


Why are these factors important? Because, unlike a human who scans candidates’ social media, AI is simply not capable of bias toward race, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, or citizen/immigration status. 


That means when our AI conducts a scan, it only flags for harmful content unrelated to the discriminatory factors listed above. What then, is considered “harmful content,” but isn’t considered in violation of federal laws? Posts that include sexually lewd, racist, and inappropriate language in the form of written content are some examples. 


Our LifeBrand technology has detected upwards of 3.3 million potentially harmful posts, saving talent acquisition companies not only from legal problems but also hours upon hours (that it would have taken to search candidates’ social media manually)!


We’d love to help show you what a safe and effective social media background scan looks like in real time. 


Schedule a demo today!