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Social Media Screening: Invasive or Insightful?

Social media is used by almost everyone in today’s world. People use social media for a variety of reasons whether it be personal, professional, or social. Is it too invasive for a recruiter or hiring manager to screen a candidate’s social media accounts? Here are some reasons why social media screening can yield positive and negative results. 


When onboarding a candidate it is easy to read their qualification off a piece of paper. However, it is more difficult to see how a candidate will fit into a company’s culture. Looking at their social media can help identify “red flags” in a person. Red flags can be also known as triggers such as illegal behavior, explicit language, or anything else that entirely goes against your company’s values. Doing this can give recruiters a better idea of who a candidate is outside of work.

The insights found while screening a candidate’s social media can avoid a bad hire or potentially prevent a messy situation if the candidate will post mutilating content of a company’s image. 


A massive downside to social media screenings is “Private Accounts”. These accounts require you to connect or follow them in order to gain access to the content. This can be seen as very invasive to some people who want their personal lives to be kept out of their professional lives. Another negative fact about these screenings revolves around favoritism. Favoritism plays a role in screenings because a recruiter may adopt a biased opinion of the candidate in review. For example, going to the same college, having similar interests, or having mutual contacts may sway their chances of getting the position because of biased thoughts. Social media profiles, and the content presented, can be faked. So, view everything with a weary eye and always request references for specific content where appropriate.

Overall, social media screenings have proven to be insightful and invasive. The question remains – Is this too invasive? Or is it a necessary step in the recruitment process? 

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