In today’s competitive hiring market, the way job seekers perceive your organisation will either help or hinder your ability to attract top talent.
The candidate experience includes all stages of their journey, from reading job descriptions and the application process through to becoming an employee. When it comes to the hiring process, we’re often asked how social media and digital footprint checks impact candidate experience.
Why run digital footprint checks?
To make confident and informed hiring decisions, you need the appropriate tools to assess your candidates’ ability to do the job and determine whether they are the right fit for your organisation.
Digital footprint checks can improve your hiring process and prevent bad hires, by assessing the cultural fit of your candidates and ensuring that they are aligned with your organisational values.
The digital footprint check process
Once you have access to the CheckSocial platform, the following process is followed for each check:
- You provide your candidate’s contact details
- The candidate receives an email with a link to a form where they supply their details and consent to the check
- CheckSocial’s system conducts the search
- Discovered content is classified into categories
- A human triage is performed by expert analysts
- Your report is delivered within 3 business days
How to communicate digital footprint checks to candidates
Whether they are eventually hired or not, your candidates’ experience can impact your organisation’s reputation and brand. All candidates value transparency during the hiring process, and open and honest communication is essential for a positive experience.
There are several points where you may choose to communicate the use of digital footprint checks.
1. When advertising positions
If you don’t already have a statement regarding background checks on your job listings and careers page on your website, we recommend adding one. If you do list the types of checks you conduct, digital footprint checks should be added. Where relevant, you can tie the statement to your organisations’ values and reason for using the checks. For example:
“At NAME, we are committed to building a diverse, equal and inclusive workplace and welcoming environment, to create better outcomes for our employees. As a reflection of our values, you may be required to complete a digital footprint check as part of the application process.”
By demonstrating the use of checks to protect your workforce from discriminatory, unprofessional or criminal behaviours, you will further attract candidates who are aligned with your values.
2. Ahead of submitting their details to CheckSocial
Once your candidate’s details are submitted to us, they receive an automated email with a link to provide us with further information. It’s best to let your candidate know when they will receive this email, depending on which stage of the hiring process you conduct your checks.
You should also let your candidate know any relevant details of your report review process and when they can expect to discuss any findings with you. For example, if you opt to communicate this by email after interviewing:
Thank you again for taking the time to interview with us last week, we are pleased to confirm you are one of two preferred applicants for this position. As discussed earlier, we will be contacting your referees this week, as well as conducting a digital footprint check.
As a reflection of our commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion, we run digital footprint checks to ensure all of our new hires are aligned with our organisational values. This contributes to our positive and welcoming work environment and ensures we create better outcomes for all of our employees. This check is done through our trusted partner, CheckSocial, and any protected attributes are removed from their reports. You should expect to receive an email from CheckSocial shortly.
We expect to have reviewed your reference checks and report by DATE, and will be in touch by DATE.”
Our reports are provided to you within 3 business days; factoring in your review time, you can provide a timeline to your candidates to ensure they are not left in the dark.
3. After you receive your report
Once you have reviewed each report, any concerns should be discussed openly and transparently with the candidate, in the same way you would if there was an adverse finding on a reference check or police check report.
If you’re running your checks ahead of interviews, you can use the findings to inform your interview questions, or alternatively speak with the candidate before their interview.
If instead, you conduct your reports at the same time as other background checks, any findings can be discussed ahead of making an offer of employment.
What’s involved for candidates?
The process for your candidates is quick and easy, taking around 5 minutes. Once you’ve submitted their details, they will receive an email from us. They will follow the link to our online form and provide:
- Consent to the check
- A profile photo
- Full name
- Other names (such as maiden names, nicknames and user names)
- Mobile number
- Email address
- Cities they have lived
- Links to any social media accounts they have (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn)
Do candidates provide their login details?
No. We will never ask for passwords to their accounts, or use any form of hacking or deceptive methods of obtaining data.
What if they don’t have a particular account, forget one or purposefully leave out any accounts?
If candidates don’t have any of the accounts, they can simply leave the relevant section blank.
Before submitting their details to us, a pop-up provides an opportunity to return to the form to include any accounts they may have forgotten or left out. It lets them know that undeclared accounts are likely to be found by CheckSocial.
If a candidate does leave off any accounts, including fake profiles, they are very likely to be found during the digital footprint check. Even if a burner phone or anonymous email is used, our system can pick them up based on their language use and other indications.
Do candidates get a copy of their report?
No. Reports are provided to you for your own internal review process.
Will my candidates feel like I’m looking too much into their personal lives?
Our reports only include publicly available information. When done in this way, it’s a misconception that digital footprint checks invade the privacy of candidates.
The online data and content found by our platform can be accessed by anyone, so it comes with the risk of being negatively associated with your organisation and has the potential to damage your reputation.
Our powerful AI looks for red flags in the candidates’ online activity, such as sexism, homophobia, bullying and other negative behaviours. Our analysts then review and outline any findings in your reports, together with relevancy and impact ratings to give them context.
While it could be argued that someone’s online activity isn’t relevant to their job performance (unless of course, we find evidence of false claims around experience or education), their personal behaviours give insight into how they may behave in the workplace.
Integrating digital footprint checks into your hiring process doesn’t only benefit your organisation, it benefits the candidate you hire and helps them become a welcome and trusted member of their team.
Download a free sample of a digital footprint check report
To see an example of what a digital footprint check looks like, the information they include and types of content they flag, you can download a free sample report.
The 23-page sample includes:
- A Candidate Risk Score and Cultural Fit Assessment
- An outline of our cultural fit indicators
- Examples of content that indicate discriminatory, unprofessional and criminal behaviours
- Examples of other candidate insights