Do you ever do a quickie-Google search on new employee candidates? Or maybe just check Facebook or some of the other usual suspects? An appealing practice, for sure, but could be problematic. Social Media Background Checks conducted directly (vs through a third-party) can expose an organization to claims of:

Discrimination – Seeing protected information like race, age, religion, marital status, etc. at the wrong stage of the recruiting process. Or maybe your efforts are inconsistent in checking some protected groups more than others.

Invasion of Privacy – Yes, the Internet does allow individuals a reasonable expectation of privacy. However 2 rhetorical questions: (1) Is it OK to see search results that are 100% available to the public? Or (2) going a little deeper, is it ok to Friend someone and then check?

Inaccurate Results and Conclusions – You’ve found some startling results, but are you sure it’s the right person? And what to do if you’re not?

There are answers to all of these issues, but it’s best to think everything out first -and mitigate risk – by using a third-party.