A social media background check is a valuable tool for employers. These checks allow them to learn about potential employees through their social media profiles. However, some people consider social media background checks a form of stalking. Regardless of whether this is the case, employers can learn more about candidates before making a final decision.
Information That Can Be Found On Social Media Profiles
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Social media profiles allow users to share much information about themselves with friends and family. Although sharing all of the information on your profile is unnecessary, you may want to share some details that might be valuable to others. These details include your gender, age, interests, location, and phone number. You can also use these profiles to communicate with other users and post status updates. These updates are also visible to search engines.
Compliance With The Fair Credit Reporting Act
Whether you conduct social media background screening for employment purposes or to keep an eye on potential hires, it’s essential to follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to the letter. Companies that conduct social media background checks are required to maximize the accuracy of the information on social networking sites, inform employers of their obligations under the FCRA, and provide copies of the reports to those who request them.
You should also follow the FCRA’s dispute procedure, which mandates allowing the applicant to dispute any findings. The FCRA requires employers to provide a report copy to the applicant within a reasonable period. The employer must also include a copy of the information and a summary of the applicant’s rights under the FCRA in its adverse action notification letter.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects employers from claims of discrimination based on background checks. It prohibits employers from using the reports to exclude applicants or discriminate against them. Moreover, it allows applicants to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if they believe a background check was used to determine against them. By working with a reliable employment screening provider and consulting with a legal expert, companies can ensure compliance with the FCRA.
Limitations Of Social Media Background Checks
Although social media background checks have many benefits, they also have some limitations. For starters, they can only check public pages and not private ones. Also, using these online profiles to screen applicants might violate laws against hiring and discrimination. In many states, it is illegal to do a social media background check on a potential employee.
Social media screening should be limited to information relevant to the job. This is because it is easy to fake details online. For example, a candidate may post about using marijuana while at work but may be unable to control the language he uses in his social profile. Moreover, it’s important to remember that the candidate writes not all posts on social media. Some may be posts from hacked accounts or angry exchanges with past partners.
Another limitation of social media background checks is that it’s difficult to determine the applicant’s identity accurately. For example, you can’t know if an applicant has a history of stealing or committing crimes. In addition, social media content is not verified, so you might hire the wrong person. Even if the information you gather is accurate, social media background checks can lead to problems for your business. So it’s essential to know how to use them effectively.