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Why You Need a Social Media Investigation When Hiring

As an employer, you know that finding and hiring the right employees is a challenge. And while many employers regularly turn to tools like multiple interviews, probationary periods, and background checks, one modern tool that may be overlooked is the social media investigation.

Why should you add social media investigations to your toolbox when you hire for important or sensitive positions? Here are four key reasons.

1. Employees’ Problems Can Become Yours

A company’s reputation is put at risk when their employees’ names are linked to anything scandalous, offensive, or legally questionable. Your business might come up in conversation around a worker’s racist posts, foul tweets, or unsuitable group association. No business wants to become collateral damage in a fight they have no control over.

Unfortunately, just because a surface search of the person’s social media accounts turns up nothing improper doesn’t mean that something won’t show up down the road. Posts that resurface years later can cause just as much embarrassment or reputation damage — perhaps even more so because your employer connections will now have a history.

2. Social Media Posts May Be Hard to Find

While any company can hop onto the internet and perform a quick search for a potential employee, that may not be enough to find the real problems. Today’s internet-savvy interviewees often know how to avoid obvious scandal. Social media accounts can be hidden under aliases and usernames, older posts can be scrubbed from current accounts, and some people use separate accounts for work and for play.

This is why you need a professional with the tools to uncover these hard-to-find internet trails. A good private investigator can even find information from deleted accounts, deleted postings, private accounts, and reverse searches. When coupled with a strong traditional background check, sources of information may be boundless.

3. You Must Stay Within the Law

Investigating a person on your own can open up your company to legal issues if it’s handled incorrectly. If you dig into someone’s private life in the wrong way, you could run afoul of privacy laws you probably don’t even know about.

Professional investigators are trained to provide court-allowed evidence and documentation, so you can have confidence when you act upon what you learn. Rather than taking action based on less reliable sources like screenshots of posts, you’ll be presented with documented and verified evidence about posts, videos, and photos using such technology as geo-tags, metadata, and MD5 hash data.

4. You Learn About the Employee

Social media investigations aren’t just to find dirt on individuals. They can also be a positive tool that helps you get to know your future employee better. As your investigator looks at the employee’s social media history, their friends’ posts, and their business connections, a more complete picture is drawn.

With this pattern of social media interaction, you can learn things that are much harder to capture in an interview. You might glean how your employee feels about sensitive topics like racism or privacy. You’ll see how they like to spend their downtime. An employer who wants passionate, driven employees might find a kindred spirit. Another might find an employee who likes to goof off when they should be serious.

Can your background research benefit from help in any of these areas? No matter whether you want to update your methods or you want to solve employment or retention problems with modern techniques, social media investigations might be the answer.

J.P. Investigative Group, Inc., offers a variety of employer background check and investigation options, including social media searches. Call today to make an appointment and learn more about what we can do for you.

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