Hiring can be a long and stressful process, but a necessary procedure. Many companies try to cut corners and make it as streamlined as possible, but lose vital details in the process, and set themselves up in a legal minefield.
As the internet has grown rapidly comes more accessible information. What once required a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica to answer inquiries, has now become cumbersome door stoppers, its original purpose replaced by Google and Wikipedia. There is an alarming amount of businesses that have deduced that solely using Google and checking social media accounts are sufficient methods in gathering background information on candidates. Only using internet searches to do a background check is like building a house with just a crowbar and a hammer. While these tools can gain some insight, they should be used as supplementary to a professional background check service such as Radius Investigations, who can verify the information you find online.
While some candidates may be naive and freely post with no filter, many are becoming smarter to hiring agents. 70% of employers report using social media to screen candidates and those who are looking for employment are taking notice. With the right privacy settings, users can hide questionable material from their profile. On the flip side, those who have no privacy settings enabled on an account could be knowingly posting non-controversial content.
It is no common that someone will be posting about their recent arrest online, (although it does happen, we personally have come across it in our investigations) or their credit and financial information. Going back to the earlier point, candidates can easily fabricate their social media pages to appear desirable to recruiters or withhold information. A professional background check goes beyond the basics and can access criminal, legal records, and financial information.
It is important to remember that any information gathered online and on social media is not verified the information. To extend on the last point about fabrication, social media pages are not going to necessarily tell you whether the prospect would be a good employee. For example, someone who posts about their pets and hobbies doesn't tell you whether they are qualified for the position. More importantly, relying on internet searches could end up with you making a critical mistake by screening the wrong account due to similar names.
Professional background checks cover a wide range of facets that can be used in the hiring decision process. A professional background check can include:
Using a professional service can prevent you from unknowingly discriminating someone from hiring or firing based on information gathered from social media or internet inquiries because professional background checks provide verified information. It also protects you from violating any privacy laws, which are still vague in regards to information on the internet. Private investigators who provide professionals background checks services provide verified information, know how to identify potential legal issues, and proceed between your company and themselves to remain in compliance with the law.
Getting a professional background check ensures an accurate employment history. Private investigators can not only perform background check services but have the ability to physically go to the sites or conduct interviews to confirm candidates' employment records.
Letting a professional service handle your background check procedures can ease a big legal and logistical responsibility. Even doing a basic internet search and social media screening can be time-consuming, and the quality of the results is not worth the investment.
Using social media and internet research can be valuable in understanding more about your candidates, but come with the caveats of legalities, being unverified information, and provide no guarantees of accuracy or insight. These methods should be used with caution and taken with a grain of salt in the overall hiring process. Social Media and Google should never be used as a replacement for a professional background check.