How Important is a Social Media Background Check?

One of the most common employee screening questions we get is this one: are social media background checks REALLY necessary?

The short answer is YES. Social media background checks are absolutely critical when hiring today.

Has this always been the case? Was social media screening critical, say, fifteen years ago?

No. But remember the landscape back in 2005. Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram didn't exist. Facebook was only a year old. YouTube had just been born. Even Google was still "young," relatively speaking—only seven years old.

Today, in 2020, it's a much different story. Dozens of social media platforms exist (and have tons of active users), and new platforms pop up seemingly every day.

Consider these stats based on research from Pew Research Center:


We doubt these stats are surprising to anyone reading this. But we want to call your attention to the 18-29 demo in particular, which combines older Gen Z with younger Millennials. No doubt, people from this demo already make up—or will be making up—a big part of your workforce. These folks are heavy social media users.


OK, but WHY is social media screening so important now?

Here's our reasoning: People tend to be "unfiltered" online. It's easy to hit publish on a tweet, post, or comment without giving it too much thought. For better or worse, a person's truer colors tend to shine through on social media—and this portrait doesn't always sync with the squeaky clean image people attempt to present on a resume or during a face-to-face interview.

At Good Egg, our motto is "Character matters." How a person acts in unguarded moments provides insight into their character and whether they'd be a good cultural fit for your organization.

Like a criminal hiring check, a social media background check is one more essential input to the hiring process. While not foolproof, the way a person acts in public online platforms is often indicative of what you can expect from them in the workplace.

How does social media screening work?

Good Egg's compliant social media background check looks at a person's public Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram along with a web/news search. Note: the "compliant" piece is also essential.

Good Egg's compliant social media screening solution... 

  • Ensures company standards and reputation are upheld by employees
  • Keeps HR departments compliant with FCRA requirements and EEOC protected class information
  • Gives insight to a prospective employee’s character and culture fit
  • Respects individuals’ privacy rights by only examining publicly available content

Learn more about compliant social media screening here.

Why type of content will Good Egg's social media screening solution look for?

Our social media screening solution flags content from the following categories:

  1. SMM-flagHate Speech
  2. Insults and Bullying
  3. Narcotics
  4. Obscene Language
  5. Self-Harm
  6. Threat of Violence
  7. Toxic Language
  8. Drug-Related Images
  9. Explicit/Racy Images
  10. Violent Images

Look at that list and ask yourself this: wouldn't you want to know if a job candidate was publishing online content from one (or more) of those categories? You don't need "startling stats" to inherently get why hiring someone who, say, tweets threatening messages and bullies people online could spill over into the workplace and create a toxic or unsafe work environment—one that could affect everything from productivity, morale, and the bottom line.

Will Good Egg only look for "negative" content?

Nope! Our social media background checks can also provide positive insights because it can capture online articles or posts about the person that might not necessarily be negative.

For example, maybe the job candidate is active in worthwhile charity work and has been featured in an article posted to a newspaper's website. You get the idea. Again, this sort of information provides important insights into the person's character—insights that will enable you to make confident hiring decisions.

Bottom line: social media background checks (and ongoing social media monitoring) are critically important today.

Interested in learning more? Request a demo and let's chat about your needs!

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Danielle Deutsch

Posted by Danielle Deutsch

Danielle is the Senior Digital Marketing Coordinator at Good Egg & Foley Services. In her spare time you can find her either visiting an aquarium, enjoying a Broadway show or competing in a Crossfit competition.

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