Social Intelligence Gives Insights Into Employee Social Media

social media background check

Learn more about our HR Technology and Product Reviews here at Workology. See our FTC disclosure at the end of this review.

I love social media, and I’m not alone. There is a new social media profile created every 6.4 second according to a recent report from BrandWatch. It’s such a great place to share, connect, and engage. As an individual user of social media, I’ve built so many great relationships. It continues to be filled with amazing people within the HR, career, and workplace community. As an employer, social media is a fabulous place to collect information and research prior to the start of a new hire’s first day and look for red flags that might damage the employer or put employees and the business in danger. Unfortunately, collecting, reviewing, and analyzing candidate data is not without risk for those same employers. Using social media as a social background check with a third party is risky and creates opportunities for liability and discrimination. This is especially true if the social media background check is if done by as a hiring manager or recruiter. 

What Is a Social Media Background Check?

Social Intelligence is a social media background screening technology that provides employers a way to reduce bias and liability using a third party vendor partner and technology to review and evaluate a new hire or employee’s social media. The company uses a combination of technology using an algorithm to identify and locate areas that require a human analyst to conduct a more in depth further review. The human review process is part of every background check conducted by Social Intelligence. This, in my mind, is extremely important to ensure that user generated content can be matched to the candidate and undergo a more intense analysis. 

The report which is Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA compliant evaluates employees and job candidates to employers of their activity that could be considered potentially discriminatory or problematic content posted or shared. Social Intelligence searches a variety of social media accounts, dating website, pictures, microblogs, forums, and other question and answer communities like Yahoo Answers and Quorum. 

Personally, I like that they are searching for content on a variety of sites beyond social media as digital footprints happen on many different kinds of communities on the web. Their social background check analyzes and searches for available data and content on public sites and social networks. 

Social Media Background Screening Looks for Violent, Illegal, or Sexual Content

As Social Intelligence evaluates and searches for content, the social background check looks for and identifies problematic content in the following areas: 

1) Content that demonstrating racism

2) Content of potentially illegal activity 

3) Content of potentially violent content 

4) Content that contains sexually explicit material 


Rest Easy Knowing Social Background Checks Look at Social Media Post From As Far Back as 7 Years 


Social Intelligence offers two different types of social background check options 1) Pro and 2) Basic. The Pro option provides a report that details activity and possible concerning social posts as far back as seven years. The Basic reporting provides a report that shares details on the top five social media sites where derogatory content most often occurs within the last three years. 

The media seems to sensationalize social media, and negative stories of social media gone wrong seem to be everywhere. It’s easy as a hiring manager or HR leader to get bogged down and overwhelmed. Social Intelligence helps organize and elevate your hiring efforts providing you with an unbiased process and support. Their services are designed to help you keep your workplaces and customers safe, happy, and productive. Only 10% Social Intelligence’s social background checks completed come back with results that require employers to take more of a deep dive into the content. I know you will feel better knowing that you have taken precautionary measures. I also love that Social Intelligence provides their clients with a wealth of resources in the form of training and support including hostile workplace and code of conduct resources, sample social media policies, and substance abuse support. 

FTC Disclosure: We received compensation for mentioning and reviewing the product listed above as part of one of the services we offer our clients. Regardless, we only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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