May 22, 2017

Written by Sandra Christopher, Background Screening Professional for 15+ years.

Social Media: “Forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and micro-blogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personalized messages, and other content (such as videos)”

Here are some statistics, risks and rewards of using social media to screen job applicants:


– According to a variety of research reports, employers cannot resist mining information from social media when screening job candidates. The CareerBuilder research revealed that of the 59% of hiring managers who used search engines to research candidates – nearly half of them, found content that caused them not to hire a candidate.


– Information (personal/professional), opinions and videos a person displays on social media may provide another means to evaluate a candidate’s professionalism and social conduct; their fit for company culture; or qualifications.


– Social media has a lot of protected class information that employers don’t want to see or know about: race, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, pregnancy. But, how reliable is this information?

– Many employers are still reluctant to use social media screening due to the risk of using or accessing the data often outweighs the potential return

– Because this information is often prominently displayed on social networking profiles, even the most cautious employer may find itself an unwitting defendant in a lawsuit charging discrimination.


Unless you want to increase liability for you and your company, we recommend not using social media as part of your hiring criteria. The breath of employment services that you do choose should focus on an individual’s past career history or be centered around functions of the specific job the employer is hiring for.

Our recommendation is to use an FCRA compliant, Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) for pre-employment background screening to protect the candidate and your company. Any company that you choose, should have the resources to review your current program, help to align your organization with the best possible product mix and assist with keeping your company out of the path of liability.

About B&B Reporting Inc.

B&B Reporting, Inc. is an employment background screening company that was incorporated in June of 1995 by owner and CEO, Patricia Blankenship. Headquartered in Scottsboro, Alabama with our national sales office in Alpharetta, Georgia, B&B Reporting Inc. provides unparalleled background screening products and services to organizations nationwide and internationally. Our commitment to integrity, accuracy, quality research, and client satisfaction is what allows B&B to prosper in an increasingly competitive market. For more information about B&B products and services, contact: Sandra Christopher, National Sales Representative/Account Manager at or (216) 408-1012.

The information provided in this article is for general informational and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate legal professionals or licensed attorneys.