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Should Human Resources Teams Monitor and Screen Social Media?

By: Lisa Bruce | 3 mins read |

According to research from job platform CareerBuilder, 54 percent of surveyed employers have eliminated a promising candidate due to problematic social media posts. This raises two questions: should every job seeker expect to have their social media history reviewed by recruiters? And should HR departments really be checking out people’s social media profiles?

The short answer to both questions is ‘yes’. Today, billions of people regularly post on social media platforms, leaving a digital trail of their activities, interests—even their innermost thoughts—for anyone with a web browser to peruse. As social media platforms increasingly become the places where people chat, shop, and network, the lines around personal privacy are blurring in ways that would have been unimaginable a generation ago. This fundamental shift is transforming our lives in myriad ways, including how people get hired. 

Below, we’ll explore why every job seeker should expect to have their social media profiles scrutinized during the hiring process, and why every employer should take the time to really get to know who they’re hiring. For human resources departments, the social media background check is quickly becoming as common as the criminal background check—and this can be a good thing, especially when social media monitoring tools make it easy to scale the process. 

Candidates: Be careful what you post!

Ultimately, anyone who uses social media should understand that everything they post can be viewed by essentially anyone, from their grandmother to a new boss. This alone should be enough to give people pause before hitting the ‘publish’ button, but many smart people still post things that would make even the most open-minded person cringe, leading to lost opportunities and embarrassment. 

So job seekers, take heed: if you don’t want to be singled out for something you posted late on a Saturday night, you can either clean up your accounts, or set them to private. It’s one thing to have an expectation of privacy when chatting with friends in the real world, but posting whatever comes to mind on social media is setting yourself up for problems. Regularly auditing your social accounts, especially when looking for a new job, is a wise practice and should become a habit. 

Why should human resources teams screen social media accounts?

It’s no secret that a brand’s reputation can be tarnished in seconds when an employee, board member, partner or other associated party posts something offensive on social media. This reason alone should be compelling enough for brands to invest in brand reputation management solutions, to ensure that organizations have visibility over what their representatives are saying online. 

What’s more, screening the social media accounts of prospective hires can also be incredibly insightful for HR teams: research from CareerBuilder found that 27 percent of candidates lie about their qualifications when applying for a job. Having an efficient and comprehensive social media auditing solution can help catch application fraud in real time, simply by reviewing a candidate’s posts to see if their work history and achievements align with their online behavior. 

From a brand protection and compliance perspective, it’s also critical that HR teams have a strong understanding of current employees and prospective hires—and that includes having a clear view of their behavior online. This is where social media monitoring and screening solutions like VN Secure deliver tremendous value for brands: by making it easy to monitor and screen social media activity at scale, without breaking the bank. 

Viral Nation_Secure™: The most advanced social media screening solution

VN Secure from Viral Nation enables brands to quickly screen the social media behavior of current and ex-employees, vet talent hires, and streamline other HR processes all from a single platform. WIth the ability to screen text, image, and video social media posts—and to enable 24/7 monitoring of social media accounts—VN Secure outperforms other solutions on the market, making it the solution of choice for global brands.

And while it’s the responsibility of job seekers to ensure their accounts are squeaky-clean when it comes time to engage with HR, the onus is on organizations to be sure that anyone representing their brand is aligned with their core values. Knowing this, there’s never been a better time for brands to adopt solutions that make social media monitoring and screening a snap. 

Find out how VN Secure can help protect your organization against social media mishaps by booking a demo today

_About the author
Lisa Bruce

As the Sr. Director of Customer Support & Operations, Lisa is a highly effective, hands-on leader who inspires her teams to meet complex challenges with a customer-first mentality. With her proven track record of implementing agile approaches in fast-paced matrix organizations, Lisa has helped countless clients achieve their business objectives and streamline operations while fueling sustainable, long-term growth. She is also a Pragmatic Certified Product Master and Ambassador with a deep understanding of market-driven tactics.