When conducting Social Media Background Checks internally, in general, it’s better to wait until later in the hiring process before conducting these searches.  At this point, you’ve already met for at least one interview, and therefore already know a lot about the candidate, such as race and gender.  And even with this knowledge, you are obviously still interested.

Many firms conduct Social Media Background Checks and Credit and Criminal Background Checks at the same time, and this is just before an offer is made.

Conducting these checks late in the hiring process will preclude claims that the information found was used in a discriminatory manner.  This is the most conservative approach, but can be an expensive and time-consuming route if unexpectedly adverse results are uncovered.

If third-parties are used for these online investigations, however, background checks can be used as one of the first steps, thereby saving much time and money by eliminating bad-apples early on in the recruiting process.  Third party reports are acceptable at any time in the process because most irrelevant information is redacted (removed) and potentially discriminatory information is never seen by the employer.