Social Media Background Checks

Many employers now use the internet as an additional tool in checking the background of candidates.  There are potential challenges and liabilities with conducting such searches, including the following:

  • Online searches can produce “results” on hundreds or thousands of people with the same name as your candidate.  For that reason, extreme care has to be used to be sure that the search result you rely on is actually the same person as your candidate.
  • Some search engines, such as Google, are so large that you may need to go through dozens of pages to verify that there is nothing adverse about your candidate.
  • Facebook and other similar sites allow the person posting a page to block access to their site.
  • These searches will often produce information that is not allowed to be used in the screening process, including protected classes under the federal anti-discrimination law.
  • Sites such as the Megans Law site for registered sex offenders cannot be accessed for employment screening purposes.  If you do so, you are violating the law.

Because we recognize the value of social media searches and how essentially it is to do them right. YPP has partnered with a new company to provide these for our clients.  This new service enables employers to navigate the complicated legal landscape of social media with clear, consistent, and insightful results. Using a combination of automated and manual review processes, this social media check ignores information that is not allowable in the hiring process, such as the “protected class” characteristics defined by federal anti-discrimination law (race, religion, national origin, age, sex, familial status, sexual orientation, disability status, and other qualities that are not allowed to be used as decision points).

There are 3 levels of reports available through YPP:

Basic Report – $20

Hiring Basic provides an employer with a report on a candidate’s publicly available online content.  With the Hiring Basic report, the first time information that matches the pre-defined employer criteria is found, a report is generated.  This report includes redaction of the protected class and other information that is not relevant to the position.

Comprehensive Report – $40

Hiring Comprehensive provides employers with a complete detailed view of all of a candidate’s user-generated information that matches the pre-defined employer criteria.  With Hiring Comprehensive employers also have the option to search for “positive criteria” on candidates.  Like Hiring Basic, this report also includes redaction of the protected class and other information that is not relevant to the position.

Executive Report – $75

Hiring Executive is a detailed report that contains all information that is found online on the candidate.  Hiring Executive accounts for non-user generated content such as media hits in addition to the already included pre-defined employer criteria.  With Hiring Executive, employers receive a 360-degree view of their candidate’s online profile.  For an additional cost, Hiring Executive can also include analysis on known affiliates of Sr. Executives, insuring that an organization is making the best hire possible for their leadership roles.

As with all screening tools, social media searches should not be relied on exclusively for your decision about the candidate;  all of the screening information should be evaluated within the scope of the position.

For more information about this service, please contact YPP.

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