70% of Employers Are Using Social Media to Screen Candidates

Employers today have a wide variety of screening tools at their disposal. It helps that potential employees, like most Americans, regularly publish information about themselves. More and more companies are using this information – most of it accessible by social media – to pre-check candidates before they put out a job offer.

According to a study conducted by CareerBuilder last year, 70 percent of employers say they are now using social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and about 43 percent of employers use social media to check on current employees. The goal, companies say, is to ensure that the individual is a good “fit” for the company, and to ferret out any reasons NOT to hire someone.

Employers who responded to the CareerBuilder survey listed the following reasons for pre-screening candidates on social media:

  • Information that supports their qualifications for the job (61 percent)
  • If the candidate has a professional online persona at all (50 percent)
  • What other people are posting about the candidates (37 percent)
  • For any reason at all not to hire a candidate (24 percent)

Professional Screening Services

Checking social media can be a tedious process, however, which is why there is an increasing number of tools and services that can help you use available information – not just social media, but search engines too – to build a better picture of a job candidate and ensure you’ve got the right person.

At DataCheck, we provide pre-employment background checks, drug tests and screening services that include a comprehensive search of the major social media platforms to gain insight into a candidate’s online behavior and appropriateness based on your company’s basic code of conduct and values.

Using our services you can uncover evidence of criminal behavior, unprofessional conduct or lies, and misrepresentation about experience and education. The goal is to prevent you from hiring candidates who aren’t a good fit or who could even be a danger to the company’s existing employees and reputation.

For more information about how DataCheck can help with screening candidates via social media and other means, visit our web site or call 800-253-3394.

What Do Employers Check for on Your Social Media?

When sifting through applications and deciding which people to interview, most employers look at applicants’ social media profiles. It’s become a key element in our everyday lives today. What they find can work for or against a candidate.

Here are some things to think about when it comes to employer social media checks.

How Social Media Can Help You Get the Job

Many employers will look for applicants with a professional online presence, including information about their education and current and past employment that supports statements made in their resume.

Other things they may confirm on social sites is if you belong to a professional association, if you have published articles that are relevant to the position for which you applied, or if you have been praised or quoted by others. Those things could work in your favor. A prospective employer may also use search engines to look for articles about you and your accomplishments, references to volunteer work, and other indications of good character.

How Social Media Can Work Against You

Employers also check social media for any reason not to hire a candidate. Pictures or videos behaving in an immature, reckless or offensive way can work against an employee. Limit use of profanity or discriminatory language, or any comments referring to these types of behavior or to any type of criminal activity as they can get your application rejected. Any comments that indicate that the information included in your resume is false or misleading can also ruin your chance of securing a job.

Using social to reveal confidential information about a current or past employer could also be grounds for rejection of your candidacy.

Things that seem funny or trivial to you could even make an employer question your professionalism. For example, a silly, offensive, or immature screen name could cause an employer to think twice. A large number of posts during normal business hours could make a hiring manager conclude that you don’t take your current job seriously and would not be a reliable employee. Tread carefully.

How to Use Social Media

With all of these reasons that social media could cause you to miss out on a job opportunity, you might be tempted to delete your profiles altogether, but you shouldn’t. Many employers are reluctant to hire someone who isn’t active online at all.

Use your social media accounts to your advantage. Cultivate a professional image by including information about your work, accomplishments, and goals. Before you post any comments, pictures, or videos, ask yourself what a prospective employer might think. If you would be embarrassed to have your parents see something, it probably wouldn’t sit well with a hiring manager either.

Importance of Background Checks

In a competitive labor market, employers need to carefully screen candidates. In addition to checking social media, conducting thorough background checks can help companies identify applicants with criminal records and verify that all information included in a candidate’s resume is accurate.

If you are interested in hiring new employees and want to be assured you’re making a solid choice in an employee, contact DataCheck today. We can help you make informed decisions you’re confident in.

As Face-to-Face Interviews Decline, Pre-Employment Screening is Critical

Let’s face it: nobody likes job interviews. The old hiring standard of bringing a group of people in and asking them a series of sometimes-absurd and irrelevant questions has been under fire recently. Does the job interview really communicate a candidates’ qualifications? Does it serve any purpose except wasting everybody’s time? Are face-to-face job interviews going the way of the dodo?

Possibly, if you believe industry trends. The Wall Street Journal has reported that some employers trying to recruit in the tightest job market in decades are hiring some candidates sight unseen—after just one phone interview. This isn’t generally for high-powered jobs. But the trend could spread from retail and low-level office work into more professions. The reason, according to Peter Capelli, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania interviewed by the WSJ, is that most companies are “so bad at interviewing, and the interviews are so full of bias, that it’s not crazy to just ignore them altogether.”

What’s Wrong with Interviews?

Interviewing, it’s felt, only represents a person’s interviewing skills, and few people conduct interviews for their jobs, noted Suzanne Lucas writing for Inc. magazine.

“This job requires that I sit at a computer, analyze information, and write about it in a coherent and entertaining fashion (hopefully with the least typos possible),” wrote Lucas. “An accountant’s job is to make sure that all laws are followed and all numbers balance out. A computer coder’s job is to write clear, clean code. None of these jobs require great interview skills on a daily basis. Someone who is great at interviewing may not be all that great at doing the actual job, and vice versa.”

Interviewing candidates face-to-face is also expensive and time-consuming. Companies are instead relying on applications, resumes, recommendations, and telephone interviews. In some cases, they’re engaging would-be employees in short temporary assignments to test their work capability. They’re also putting research procedures in place to check out potential employees.

Should You Stop Interviewing?

Experts say that while eliminating interviewing altogether may not be in your company’s best interests, they do recommend shortening the process. What they don’t recommend, however, is foregoing the kind of pre-employment checks that can protect your business.

Why Are Pre-Employment Checks Important?

A pre-employment background check company like DataCheck can help you screen your potential employees for the information you need to know before you hire. DataCheck is a full-service background investigation company that specializes in obtaining pertinent information via criminal background checks, past employment, and background history information, and background investigations for DMV history, credit reports, drug screening, and many other issues.

Contact DataCheck via our website or call 800-253-3394 to discuss your employment background investigation needs today. 

Don’t Skimp Background Checks for Seasonal Workers

November means Thanksgiving, blustery weather, first frosts, and seasonal employment. Thousands of retailers are now in the process of hiring extra staff for temporary positions through the holiday season and into January’s mass merchandise returns. This year, seasonal hiring may be particularly tricky. Low unemployment coupled with good consumer confidence could lift this year’s holiday retail season. But it will also present a headache to companies trying to find good workers to fill seasonal slots in their stores and operations.

According to National Retail Federation (NRF) President and CEO Matthew Shay, the association is predicting that retailers will hire 650,000 seasonal workers for the holidays in 2018, up more than 10 percent from last year’s seasonal hiring. NRF is forecasting that annual retail sales for 2018 will increase at least 4.5 percent over 2017. This number is the highest since 2014, when unemployment was around 6 percent, compared with a nearly five-decade low of 3.7 percent in October of this year.

“Our forecast reflects the overall strength of the industry,” Shay said. “Thanks to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence, we believe that this holiday season will continue to reflect the growth we’ve seen over the past year.”

That’s the good news. The bad news is…where are retailers going to get all these seasonal employees in a time of record-low unemployment?

Wage Competition Will Be Fierce

With minimum wages edging up in cities around the country and unemployment below four percent, companies will also be paying its seasonal workers more. Amazon has said it plans to finish filling seasonal positions by early December. The company’s new minimum wage of $15 an hour will likely attract the best candidates for seasonal positions.

Who’s Checking the Candidates?

When it gets difficult to hire good workers – especially when those workers are only temporary – it’s tempting to skip some of the bells and whistles of the hiring process. Many companies will look the other way on less-than-ideal candidates, but this could put their business and their other employees at risk. Background checks are important, even for seasonal candidates.

Call the Professionals

A pre-employment background check company can help you safely expand your pool of job applicants while continuing to protect your business and your existing employees.

DataCheck is a full-service background investigation company that specializes in obtaining pertinent information via criminal background checks, past employment, and background history information as well as background investigations for DMV history, credit reports, drug screening, and many other issues.

Contact DataCheck to discuss your employment background investigation needs today.

Expanding the Labor Pool by Considering Rehabilitated Offenders

It’s an economic cycle: when labor is plentiful, employers can afford to be choosy about who they hire. When labor pools shrink, employers often need to remove some of their restrictions and consider hiring people with less formal education or fewer years of work experience. One place employers can look for workers to fill labor shortages includes a pool of applicants they might be accustomed to rejecting: ex-offenders.

Thinking Differently About Hiring Ex-Offenders

It’s been conventional wisdom for years that former offenders are riskier to hire: they may present a threat to other workers or steal money or stock from a business, so the thinking goes. But a new study has shown this may not be true, and that there may be benefits to hiring ex-offenders. The real question for employers willing to take the chance is how to evaluate and select these candidates, according to EHS Today, which highlights research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) which a demonstrated consistent work history is a better marker of a good worker than a clean record.

“It’s time to put an end to the stigma that holds back inclusive hiring and retire outdated employment practices,” said SHRM’s president Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. “With unemployment falling below four percent, employers must think differently about both jobs and the people who can fill them. A criminal record should never be viewed as an automatic disqualification for employment.”

In addition to a consistent work history, employers should look for references, job training, and a certification of rehabilitation. They should also be sure to conduct a thorough background check to validate the truth of claims on an application. It is, however, important to do so within the law. California already has restrictions on how criminal background check information may be used.

FIRST STEP Act

Another factor that may make relaxing rules on hiring ex-offenders more appealing is criminal reform legislation at the federal level in the form of the FIRST STEP Act, which cleared the House in May. Among other things, the legislation would provide $250 million over five years for new inmate education and rehabilitation programs, which include job training.

Call the Professionals

A pre-employment background check company like DataCheck can help you safely expand your pool of job applicants while continuing to protect your business and your existing employees. As a full-service background investigation company, we specialize in obtaining pertinent information via criminal background checks, past employment, and background history information, and background investigations for DMV history, credit reports, drug screening, and many other issues.

Contact DataCheck via our website or call 800-253-3394 to discuss your employment background investigation needs today.