In one of our recent blog posts, we told you about the questions you need to ask your social media background check company before availing their services. So, what happens after they answer your questions? Do you say yes immediately? Of course not.

In this blog post, we will concentrate on the questions you need to ask yourself before considering which online private investigator to hire. Assuming you sent out your questions to several companies and got your answers, you’ll probably be faced with a couple of choices. Use these questions to help you decide.

Will they be able to provide you with all the information your company needs to make your hiring decisions?

Every company is unique. What information you require from your potential applicants are not necessarily the same as what other companies are looking for. Assess what you specifically need based on your company, and the job you will be offering, and then decide on the information that you need from your social media reports.

Do they understand and comply with the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act)?

The FCRA makes sure that the person you are subjecting to a social media surveillance will not have his rights violated. An employer should have a written consent where the subject states that he is agreeing to being investigated. In the event that the company decides not to hire the subject, he has the right to see the report from the social media investigation.

Do they charge reasonably?

This is a common question that you have to ask yourself, do you think their pricing are reasonable? Do they have the same packages as the other social media screening providers? If so, is the price along the price range of the similar packages from the other companies? Will your company be able to afford the pricing of your chosen provider?

Do they offer an electronic consent form that can be signed digitally?

Like what was mentioned in the FCRA question above, a consent must be signed by the subject of the online investigation stating that he agrees to be investigated. Some social search companies go out of their way and provide an electronic consent from that you can use to make your subject sign digitally. Some companies leave it to you to provide that to your applicants, choose properly when it comes to this, because electronic consents are most likely easier to file and retrieve might you need it someday.

How long will it take them to give you the results?

A digital footprint investigation report can be delivered to you usually within 48 business hours after you file the request. Check the companies that you are choosing from and determine which one is the best one for you. Remember that fastest is not always the best. Consider the inclusions in that said amount of time to make the most of what you are paying. Some companies may be able to give you their reports sooner but upon closer study, you’ll notice that their package may give you less than the other companies. Choose wisely.

Are their reports accurate, clear and complete in written form?

You already know how much time you have to wait for the report you will file to your provider for monitoring social media behaviors of your potential hires, what now? In addition to the waiting time that you have to endure for every report, consider how you will get the report. Will you be getting an email with a PDF or Word document attachment? Or are you just going to be redirected to a link where you can view the result?

For this, you will want to be emailed a complete and clear report that you can print and study, rather than having a link that you can just check through your computer.

Are they accredited by the National Association of Professional background checkers?

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners or NAPBS is a government accredited group of background checkers. Members receive updates about the latest news and laws about background screening, they will have access to screening-related resources, access to webinars, newsletters and other helpful benefits. If the company you will hire is a member, then the chances that they are well-informed and will be less likely to risk you and your company’s reputation.

Should I just let my HR do an in-house social media surveillance?

At this point you should not be turning back after you have sent your questions and have compared your choices. But if you feel like it is a hassle having to do all these, then think about the repercussions that you might be bringing to yourself of you do not proceed to hiring a professional checker company. Simply Googling an applicant may be against the law, befriending and messaging then through social media also is.

Going through all these questions and making sure you find the best social media screening service provider may prove to be a complicated task. However, you have to remember, that when it comes to your company, you can never be too careful. You don’t want to be risking the fall of your company just because you hired the wrong person. You also have to note that these companies will only give you reports about what they find out, the final decision regarding the hiring will always be up to you.

Author's Bio: 

Bianca Calhoun Lager is the President of Social Intelligence, the premiere provider of social media background screening for intelligent hiring decisions.