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Insight: Social Media Screening in the Education Sector.

The Department for Education (DfE) is currently consulting on changes to Keeping Children Safe in Education, proposed to come into effect from September 2022.

 

Relative new insight from Gov.uk highlights potential changes to the statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment within the Education Sector.

 

If approved, the new safer recruitment guidance will include the recommendation of social media checks on prospective teachers, which will be of particular interest to HR and Hiring professionals. These social media checks will be recommended to be conducted in respect of candidates shortlisted for interview.

 

In a growing number of sectors, now potentially including Education, using social media to assess cultural fit and mitigate reputational risk is no longer a ‘nice to have option’. Increasingly, it’s being seen as a core element of hiring due diligence – Supplementing rather than replacing existing screening procedures.

 

As screening experts, we know how social media checks can protect businesses, with 90% of employers factoring it into their hiring decisions, but how will this affect recruitment processes for Education Sector HR professionals?

 

Social media policies

Employers within the education sector will need to, if they haven’t already, put a social media policy in place. This should be water-tight, covering what it deems to be acceptable staff conduct on social media, as well as what it doesn’t.

 

Social media screening report lengths

With the inclusion of social media checks, hiring processes may take longer than they used to. Here at Vero, our typical turnaround time on social media reports is 5 working days.

 

What are social media checks?

Social media reports include a summary of any risks and red flags, along with an overview of findings. They also share key details such as identified email addresses, websites and social profiles of the candidate.

 

We’re proud to deliver Neotas social media searches, which consult publicly available, open-source data only. They’re run against 10 clearly defined categories – eight risk categories and two positive indicator categories. Each risk category will be ‘red flagged’ if any relevant content is identified. And all red-flagged content will be fully evidenced, actionable and documented in a comprehensive report.

 

Our experts review the following risk categories:

  1. Extreme views / opinions
  2. Hate and discriminatory behaviour
  3. Illegal activities
  4. Inappropriate / undesirable content
  5. Potential addiction or substance abuse
  6. Sexually explicit content
  7. Violent content
  8. Other

 

We also look at some positive indicators:

  1. Charitable work
  2. Volunteering role

 

How can we help?

If you’re in the Education Sector in the UK and would like to discuss your social media screening requirements, get in touch with our expert team today: intouch@veroscreening.com | Fill out our contact form.

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