5 Most Common Misconceptions About Social Media Screening in the Hiring Process - CheckSocial

As a HR professional, you understand how important a thorough recruitment process is when it comes to selecting the right candidate.

Therefore, it’s important to regularly review your approach to continue to build a productive and motivated workforce that will support your company and customers.

As part of your recruitment process, you typically screen applicants using employee references, interviews and police checks. However, in today’s digital age, social media checks can provide additional insights to help you make a more informed hiring decision.

Recruiting professionals may feel reluctant when it comes to using social media data to screen candidates. So, let’s discuss some common misconceptions around these digital background checks and the benefits they can offer you.

What is social media screening?

Social media checks, also referred to as digital footprint checks, provide insights about candidates based on their online activity and behaviours on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and the web.

A social media check provides cultural fit indicators as well as insights about an individual that, when added to your usual hiring process of interviews and background screening methods, can help minimise the risk of bad hires.

However, despite the benefits they offer, there are HR professionals who can feel a little hesitant about conducting digital footprint checks for a variety of reasons.


So, to fully understand the importance of performing digital footprint checks, let’s address the top common misconceptions about them.

5 misconceptions about social media screening and digital footprint checks

It’s time to debunk some of these, based on how we at CheckSocial, conduct digital footprint checks.

Misconception 1: digital footprint checks invade the privacy of candidates

Not true. Our digital footprint checks only search for and report publicly available information on the candidate.

No information we collect is obtained using any form of hacking, deceptive methods or by requesting the candidate to hand over their passwords to access private data. We can’t see any data that has been made private by the candidate.

All data collected is deleted once the check is complete, so there is no storage of personal data.

Misconception 2: digital footprint checks are illegal

False. Digital footprint checks are becoming commonplace today and are being used by organisations globally, including federal government agencies in the US, UK and Australia.

Our digital footprint checks are done with the consent of the candidate and only look at publicly available information.

We focus on behaviours like racism, bigotry and misogyny which are considered unacceptable in all organisations. In fact, there may be legal issues such as negligent hiring associated with NOT screening for these behaviours.

Misconception 3: digital footprint checks discriminate against applicants

Studies have shown that around 92% of companies are using social media for hiring and that three out of four hiring managers will search for a candidate’s social profiles. This manual social media checking means that there is a risk of applying a natural human bias.

Our social media check report excludes protected attributes such as race, religion, sexuality, marital status or gender, avoiding the discrimination issue altogether. In fact, using an independent service like CheckSocial helps to remove human biases since your HR team and hiring manager won’t see any information that could lead to discrimination.

Our cultural fit indicators screen for undesirable behaviours such as racism, bigotry and unprofessional behaviour, helping you to protect your culture, brand and reputation whilst also demonstrating support for diversity, equality and inclusion objectives.

Misconception 4: personal social media and online behaviour is not relevant and has nothing to do with the job

Performing a digital footprint check isn’t about whether a candidate can do the job. It’s about assessing their cultural fit and alignment with your organisation’s values, as outlined in your code of conduct and social media policy.

Being associated with something an employee has negatively done or posted online can lead to lost sales, reputation risks and costly damage control.

Digital footprint checks allow you to be more proactive in ensuring candidates align with your business’ values, brand image and culture, by discovering cultural fit issues during the hiring process.

Misconception 5: performing social media checks is time-consuming and costly

Our digital footprint checks are affordable and comparative in cost to other background checks such as reference checks.

It is a small price to pay for peace of mind, especially when compared to the potential risks and costs of hiring the wrong person. The cost of a single bad hire is proportionately more than the expense of adding this check to your hiring process.

Our typical turnaround time for a social media check is three business days, about the same as a police check – so it won’t slow down your hiring process.

As an added benefit, incorporating social media checks is a great way of demonstrating your commitment to diversity equality and inclusion by screening out candidates that don’t align to your organisations policies and values.

Digital footprint checks will become a standard part of hiring processes

Integrating digital footprint checks into your hiring process is an effective and reliable way to ensure that new hires will be a good cultural fit for your organisation. They offer an additional layer of assurance to help you build a workforce you can trust.

So, to reduce the potential cultural, reputational and financial risks from a bad hire, don’t let these common misconceptions hinder you from gaining the benefits of social media checks.

Learn more about digital footprints checks

Protecting your culture and ensuring your workforce remains engaged and motivated are your biggest priorities when it comes to managing your staff.

Fortunately, you can rely on digital footprint checks to make the hiring process more reliable, comprehensive and thorough. They enable you to effectively screen potential candidates and choose good fit employees who will both protect your organisation’s brand and culture, and drive your success.

To support you and your recruitment process, we’ve prepared a free, downloadable eBook that has been written for forward-thinking HR professionals. It offers the complete guide to digital footprint checks and will answer all your social media check questions.

Get your free copy of The Ultimate Guide to Digital Footprint Checks now.


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Ultimate Guide to Digital Footprint Checks