Companies Conducting Social Media Background Checks Must Apply Uniform Standards


In today’s society, the standards of the hiring practice have significantly changed as well as the legal recourse that employers are allowed with regards to undesirable information.

If a company conducts a social media background check on job candidates using internal resources, it is not nearly as effective as it would be with an independent company or firm. There needs to be a wide scope of discovery of social media information which an internal review could expose a company to legal responsibilities that it might not be aware of needing to adhere to.

Something as innocent as witnessing a person’s protected information within the undesirable social media information obtained can be a fine line, and the company needs to be aware of how to handle the information without being exposed to legal consequences. An outside company or firm is best used for gathering the sensitive information during this crucial time-period. Any such information will typically be weeded out for hiring managers to make a comprehensive decision. When a social media background check is used in the hiring process, there also needs to be boundary levels in how the social media information is obtained. Information obtained through “liking” a person’s social media page with the intention to retrieve secondary information about the potential employee is frowned upon and has potential legal liabilities.

Social Media Background Checks should not be in secret.

When companies are conducting social media background checks, it is essential that the process be as transparent and candid with a potential hiring candidate. It is crucial to the investigative process that all employers adhere to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), or there could be severe consequences that include employee lawsuits as well as federal government sanctions. In addition, a prospective candidate must be allowed to dispute or comment on any information that is obtained which is considered negative by the company. FAMA Technologies, a Los Angeles company that specializes in social media background checks and data analyzing, are thorough in research and have a commitment to adhering to all of FCRA regulations as well as Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws. The company’s solution is to customize the needs of each client to assure the process is detailed and lacking any inconsistent data for thorough disclosure.

A social media background check, or screening, should not be conducted in isolation or selectively by a company, or representative of the company. That opens the door for many inconsistencies as well as mistakes that can be avoided. All social media background checks or screenings should be done in conjunction with other traditional job candidate research such as employment references, criminal research, and the interviewing process. When FAMA Technologies conducts the investigative process, it is done with a team of engineers and scientists as well as state-of-the-art technology. The process helps the hiring company from having any inconsistency within the culture of its hiring stages.

One of the critical components of a social media background check is how the information is being targeted. A company needs to demonstrate a consistent and traceable methodology that is job-related and specific to the intent for hire.

The technology throughout the world has outpaced the laws with regards to social media. This puts hiring companies at a disadvantage when trying to conduct social media background checks internally, especially when there are many unknown factors within the lines of social media.