Many organisations require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check as part of the vetting process

Many organisations require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check as part of the vetting process for prospective and current employees. For some jobs (e.g. teachers, medical professionals), a standard or enhanced check will always be required. Of course, a DBS check is a great way to ensure that individuals have a clean criminal record particularly where safeguarding and security is of paramount importance. Indeed, employers are responsible for ensuring that applicants are deemed safe to work with children and vulnerable adults, and cleared to work in regulated sectors. However, there are other behaviours that aren’t considered to be crimes but are equally important in assessing someone’s suitability to a role.

We live in a digital world and almost everyone has a sizeable online, social media footprint. The vast majority of online checks relate to information found on social media platforms.  These provide valuable insight into an individual’s behaviours, beliefs and attitudes which can play an important role in the vetting process.

Social Media Checks are important for many reasons as well as being a valuable tool as part of the recruitment process. The reputational damage caused through an unsavoury post coming to light should not be underestimated. In short, social media checks:

  • Play an increasingly important role in vetting procedures whether required by law, guidance or simply for best practice.

  • Protect organisations from brand reputational damage.

  • Avoid the cost of a bad hire, loss of contracts and financial penalties.

  • Ensure company values and culture are maintained.

  • Demonstrate a commitment to due diligence in the vetting process.

Nowadays, ignorance of a person’s affiliation to a prohibited organisation or propensity to racism or gender slurs isn’t acceptable, particularly if you have failed to make the right effort to check their online behaviour. A professional social media check can reduce risk, provide additional information that other checks can’t whilst complementing the requirement for a DBS check.

However, just like a DBS check, online checks need to be carried out professionally, securely and compliantly. Social Media Check (SMC) is a fully automated solution that can check both public and private posts against a number of risk categories, returning an auditable report within the hour. SMC searches all posts across the major social media platforms using machine learning and algorithms, eliminating the need for manual searching or the possibility of unconscious bias. Social media checks can only be made with the consent of an individual, making it GDPR compliant.

How SMC has helped

With multiple schools in our Trust, we needed a quick, cost-effective and compliant procedure to conduct on-line checks of candidates. Social Media Check’s automated solution has been very effective. It is quicker and more comprehensive than a manual check, with results often delivered in under an hour.

Debbie Duggan, Operational Resources Director, The Two Counties Trust

With the changes to the KCSIE guidelines, we needed an efficient, cost effective and compliant way to conduct online checks. Manually checking is time consuming and can find characteristics irrelevant to a hire. Social Media Check’s automated solution reduces the risk of subjectivity and unconscious bias and its ease of use and comprehensive reporting has enabled us to realise operational efficiencies in our recruitment process.

Gail Murphy, Operations Manager, Lumen Learning Trust

For more information

Get in touch today to discover more about the benefits of Social Media Check.