Social Media Background Screenings | Ever Growing Importance of Social Intelligence for Career Opportunity + The Hiring Process

Today’s topic is more relative than ever as millions of people become employed again in upcoming months.   “Professional Background Screening Association showed a whopping 95% of employers conducted one or more types of pre-hire background screening. Three years later, that number still stands. “ 


Have you ever wondered what happens when you paste your social profiles in job applications? Did you know that you are releasing consent to open scrape your social media profiles, LinkedIn profiles, etc? < Now we don’t claim to give you specific legal advise, this is simply for informational purposes only.> BUT that my friends, is your implied consent - providing the profiles urls & when you click through the radio boxes at the end, allowing yourself to be lightly socially stalked! 

What is shocking to us, working with these multi national enterprise organizations, is that sometimes this social stalking is performed directly by recruiters and (potentially) even the hiring manager for the position fat fingering this search themselves! More on that later - but a little background is warranted now.

Back to Covid and ripple effects on employment return to work rates- wah wah. Beyond just the workforce becoming active again, post CoronaVirus, companies will spend years, actually YEARS re-building their infrastructure from this time. In this restructuring they will have different processes in place, likely more workers will be remote. Perhaps the legacy Human Resources Dept will not come back and a new “Head of People” will run the “Employee Experience” department. Maybe even in compelling new way using informed data analytics to make hiring and employment candidate decisions- I mean. . Isn’t what those machine learning systems are built for - to aggregate our big data or medium data, or just data sets to inform our decisions with predictive influence, yes?

Rebranding the HR function is a hot topic, particularly at the moment, as with the effects of new technology the role and responsibilities of HR are transforming before our eyes. Along with departmental name changes, job titles are moving away from the impersonal sounding Chief Human Resources Officer or Head of HR, to Chief People Officer or People Operations Manager or VP of People. Referring to employees as people rather than resources being one way to convince staff that they are valued and not simply gears in a machine and, that the Chief People Officer is there to advocate for them rather than simply ensure they obey the rules. (

This brings us now to recruitment automation engines. These seem to be the new hotness, right? Among the Chief Happiness Officer, or  Employee Success & People Operations Departments across the land of tech. . Using intoned algorithms and data driven outcomes to enlighten & mitigate hiring risk on the most expensive parts of building and scaling a business - hiring, training, and turnover!

We attended a seminar and heard a speaker  say, “ In recruiting, we make many decisions on gut instinct & raw feeling. One study showed that most hiring managers make a decision on a candidate within 60 seconds of meeting a candidate, often based on look, handshake, attire, or speech. “ That’s actually the reality and how most Enterprise cultures are built across the world. Turns out though, 30-40% of the time. These “gut impulses,” are just plain wrong!

Ok we Digress. What pray tell does that have to do with social media background screens, you ask? Well, as social media adoption becomes our society’s crutch fire, more and more companies are using it to view and evaluate candidates, commonly even pre-interview. At more than just senior manager levels. Even more than just the regular individual contributor level. I mean these folks are an extension of your online brand, right? Perception is reality, no longer is just the C- Suite or CXO level representing your company online! This social stalking often occurs during the first screen before the phone screen! That poses a legal question. Right? How much of this background intel is legal?  You as a citizen with rights, need to consent to a social media screening, in-fact and only open source data is allowed. That’s being said, federal law is crystal clear - No protected class information can be used to inform your hiring decision.

However this guy, putting this tweet out there publicly for all to-see. Well its - PUBLIC. For ALL to SEE and CAN 100% be used to indicate character and culture fit.  . . Plus, let's be honest this one is a doozy. Somewhat of a 3 for 1 special. Bigotry, Discrimination, and hey sprinkled with some drug abuse. (img. from the legacy 

Risk Tweet 2020-04-25_0945

OK Back to exactly What is Protected Class Information“ Protected Class: The groups protected from the employment discrimination by law. These groups include men and women on the basis of sex; any group which shares a common race, religion, color, or national origin; people over 40; and people with physical or mental handicaps. Every U.S. citizen is a member of some protected class, and is entitled to the benefits of EEO law. However, the EEO laws were passed to correct a history of unfavorable treatment of women and minority group.”

That’s being said, employees that conduct their own quick 10 minute fat fingers searches, CANT UNSEE what they have already seen. A candidate standing up in a black lives matter rally, or getting their baby christened or baptized, or competing in the Special Olympics. That will teeter the line on what’s legal, SO how does one solve this issue and still screen for hate crimes indicators, bigotry, violence, identification validity, even previous employer smearing? USE A THIRD PARTY TO ONLY REPORT BACK WHAT IS A RISK INDICATOR! Companies that provide that type of service are growing, but to the extent in which the SaaS platform is plug and play for minimal lifting, varies immensely. 

Let’s recognize that AI is not some unicorn robot persona that gets up and walks off your desk...its a vast range of algorithms and machine learning tools to injest data en mass, identify patterns & predictions, then forecast trends- based on that data. PiiQ Risk has revolutionized the social media background & risk analysis process to provide hiring managers and recruiters with a single useful score. Just like a little pill to swallow we deliver a spectrum of scores and data subsets to sort & separate the “the exact right dream match” for the open position. On the flip side enter credentials that are red flags, bigotry, hate speech, violence, certain groups and associations - anything really across all platforms - that would be conflict of interest in your own company culture and BAM- you at least get delivered from our platform a report of exactly what you don’t want.

There are a number of Social Intelligence options in this space; Balance Careers, RiskAware, Social Intelligence, TrustFinder, BeenVerified, GoodEgg and a number more… but none that offer an instant comprehensive risk based score, based on 20+ cohorts proving key metered insight on candidate fitness! Most other platforms need the applicant tagged "@" to scrape the data, as they use prebuilt APIs readily available across the internet (which lets be honest, BREAK!) Our property OSINT AI driven technology is unique in that it finds the candidate profile, activity, comments, and posts, then screens for high risk indicators without having to be tagged, so basically can search the sentiment of what that candidate’s (public) engagement trends + sentiments are across all mediums instantly!