Are Reference Checks and Police Checks Enough When Hiring New Employees? - CheckSocial

Employees are a business’ most important asset when it comes to achieving growth and overall success.

Their expertise, experience, skills and motivations all play an essential part in reaching organisational goals and establishing a productive and healthy work culture.

This is why it’s so important for HR professionals and talent acquisition specialists to build a strong workforce where every individual contributes positively. That all comes down to hiring the right talent to safeguard the future of your business.

So, how do you select the right people?

As you know, you need to interview candidates to make sure they have the skills and experience, and that they’re a good cultural fit. But you also need to do background screening checks to confirm your assessment during the interview and to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

In today’s era where digital media thrives and the use of the Internet has become a part of daily life, a candidate’s online life can also provide additional insights into their attitudes, interests and potential alignment with your organisation’s values.

With each hire being so critical to business success, let’s discuss ways to augment your recruitment process with a more modern approach.

The evolving recruitment market

Today, the hiring process goes beyond simply checking whether the candidate has the skills and experience to do the job.

It’s also about how they do the job and interact with coworkers, clients and others. What people say and do online has an impact on these relationships and is an important indicator of whether the candidate will share your values if they’re hired.

Assessing candidates against your code of conduct and social media policies provides an objective framework for identifying cultural fit indicators.

Therefore, the optimal recruitment practice today involves hiring candidates whose values align with your business’ values so they will:

  • positively contribute to your internal culture, and
  • protect your brand’s reputation, credibility and profitability through their actions.

Going beyond just employee reference checks and police checks

Background checking enables you to learn more about the character and history of candidates while also minimising potential longer-term risks such as high attrition rate, the development of a toxic culture and serious misconduct.

The most common types of background screening are:

  1. Reference checks – gathering information from previous employers allows you to confirm the legitimacy of the candidates’ experience.
  2. Police checks – determine whether there are legal charges or convictions that have been laid against your candidates.

However, there’s a big gap here

The rise of social media platforms and the amount of time spent online means that more people are sharing their opinions, posting on digital forums and more.

Unfortunately, interviews, police checks and reference checks don’t consider the online behaviour of candidates, which can provide key indicators around cultural fit and risks regarding potential brand and reputation damage.

This offers a significant opportunity to improve your candidate background screening by including social media checks which examine people’s digital behaviours and online activities.

What is social media screening?

As we continue to venture further into the digital age, it’s no longer enough to simply select candidates based on reference checks, police checks and interviews alone.

Social media checks, or better referred to as digital footprints checks, inform you of a person’s ideas, opinions, influences and associations from the content they publicly share on the Internet.






A digital footprint check includes details related to different cultural fit indicators such as:

  • discriminatory comments such as racism, sexism, homophobia or hate speech
  • criminal history and conduct such as fraud, violence, and cyber crime
  • previous unprofessional behaviours such as online bullying, strong language, explicit content, substance use and badmouthing employers or coworkers.

These cultural fit indicators can provide very useful information about each candidate when trying to make a hiring decision. For instance, it’s likely you don’t want your business to be linked to someone who publicly shares fake news, hate messages and offensive views online.

Hiring and then potentially being associated with something your employee has negatively done or posted on the web (or could do while employed) can be costly and detrimental to your business’ reputation and overall success.

By performing digital footprints checks, you’ll add an extra screening layer to your recruitment process so you’re able to protect your culture, brand and reputation.

Learn more about digital footprints checks

Preventing bad hires and helping to build a stronger internal culture are your biggest priorities when it comes to recruitment.

Fortunately, you can rely on digital footprints checks to make the process more reliable, comprehensive and thorough. They can allow you to effectively screen potential candidates and help find ideal employees who will both protect your organisation’s brand 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.

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


Download the FREE 
Ultimate Guide to Digital Footprint Checks