What Did Social Media Background Checks Reveal in H1 2022?

  |      Social Media Screening  |       |     Reading Time: 4 minutes

A Half-Year Review.


Social media screening is now considered by many hiring managers a core addition to the recruitment process. Along with traditional elements, such as education verification and criminal record checks, social media screening is used to assess cultural fit and mitigate risks.


Since 2012, social media screening has been available to clients. However, in recent years, the world of work has changed drastically. For many companies, 2022 will have been an anomaly – a post-pandemic hiring landscape with ways of working that have sometimes meant we won’t actually meet those we are recruiting.


What Risk Factors Did We Look At?


We specifically review data associated to role-related risks. The checks do not report on wedding photos, videos of your pets, or what you had for breakfast.


What is uncovered is data related to key risk indicators like violence, explicit and inappropriate content, discrimination and hate speech, illegal activities and more. There are also positive indicators such as charitable work and volunteering, which hiring managers may find favourable.


Only behaviours related to these key indicators will be flagged. Protected characteristics like religion, sexuality, gender will all stay protected.


As with all our social media background checks powered by Neotas, this year’s checks were fully GDPR compliant.


What Did Social Media Searches Reveal In 2022?


Throughout the first half of the year, our Social Media Screening Experts reviewed the online activity of thousands of candidates, reporting back on risk indicators as necessary.


On average, we saw 84% green flags.


On average, we saw 84% green flags, which display positive indicators for candidates. These such flags will be good news for hiring managers, who can then proceed with recruitment processes, safe in the knowledge of no traceable negative online activity on their candidate’s part.


On the other side of the coin, we’ve still seen an average of 16% red flags. Receiving notification of these negative factors can be disheartening for hiring managers, but are also important to be aware of prior to giving out a job offer. These red flags were inclusive of the following risk indicators:


  • Educational inconsistencies (1.20%)
  • Illegal activities (0.87%)
  • Inappropriate / undesirable content (40.82%)
  • Other (1.82%)
  • Potential addiction or substance abuse (3.48%)
  • Sexually explicit content (26.44%)
  • Violent content (12.73%)


Of the red flags we uncovered, we also saw a small number of extreme views / opinions (0.35%), and undisclosed directorships / directorships of concern (0.29%).



How Long Have Social Media Checks Taken This Year?


We usually recommend a typical turnaround time for social media reports as 5 working days. However, throughout the first half of 2022, social media checks have taken on average 2.4 days to compete per job applicant.


How Does Social Media Screening Work?


To get started, we just need the information that’s typically included in a CV. We then analyse the publicly available data online associated with that’s candidate social media accounts. A combination of AI, machine learning and human analysts review the huge quantities of data available and then produce a clear report, highlighting any risk indicators as red (flagged risk) and green (no area of concern) flags.


Is Social Media Screening Becoming The Norm?


Some surveys show around 70% of employers glance at applicants’ profiles before considering them for a role. Clearly, social media screening is no longer a taboo and is becoming a standard part of the screening process for new hires. But the fact remains it’s a tricky area to navigate, with many considerations around data protection and compliance.


A person’s digital footprint provides a wealth of information regarding their character. And this information can be used to mitigate risk and ensure the right employees are hired for the business and the role. Monitoring ongoing online activity can also help HR departments and managers be proactive rather than reactive, alerting them to any issues that come up over time, relative to our risk factors.


How Can Social Media Screening Benefit Your Business?


Social media screening can add a layer of safety to your recruitment process. Staff safety is the number one priority and businesses should do everything they can to avoid hiring a dangerous or disruptive person.


The cost element is also a key benefit for businesses. The potential cost of hiring the wrong individual is significant and extends beyond the salary and recruitment fees. A bad hire can have a damaging impact on company culture and significantly harm productivity, while costs of dismissal and then re-hiring should also be considered.


How Can I Get Started?


Social media screening gives you a competitive advantage. When there is little to choose between a selection of qualified candidates, aptitude and cultural fit should be highest on the agenda. Who can slot in and lead this team seamlessly? Which candidate would be disruptive and ruin the status quo? There’s one way to find out – See more about social media screening click here, or get in touch with the team via intouch@veroscreening.com.

About Jessica Veal

With 10 years’ experience within financial and professional services, both in the UK and abroad, Jessica looks after Marketing Communications here at Vero Screening. After initially gaining a degree in Marketing, Jessica’s career has spanned from campaigns strategy in-house and at agency level, to leading COVID-secure online events.

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