Hiring a third party to run a social media background check on your applicants may seem unethical for some. A number of people think that having an online investigation is like spying and that these subjects are entitled to have their private lives that are separate from their professional ones. However, there are some risks that you are putting yourself and your company into if you don’t conduct a cyber investigation. If you look at it in this standpoint, say those risks should result to more loss or even endangerment to your other employees and your company, then a digital footprint investigation is a must.

Below, are just some of the risks that you are setting yourself up into if you don’t hire a social media expert to look into the digital footprints of your applicants.

Hiring Mistakes

Every company is made up of a foundation that is made up of their employees and the bosses. This foundation is strengthened and put to use only if the people inside the company have teamwork and are all motivated towards one goal. Otherwise, you just might see your company fall from the inside.

You put your company at risk by not having a third party conduct a social media screening on your applicants. You can end up hiring people that have issues like taking drugs, being inconsiderate, being comfortable in spewing racist comments, not being able to work with people. These are just some employee traits that you want to stay away if you want to keep your company’s foundation strong.

While some hiring mistakes can be solved by just firing the employee, there are some that can cost you more permanent damage such as following risks.

Company Scandals

Imagine mistakenly hiring a pedophile who once took little girls and raped and exposed them before getting caught and being released. Just think of the scandal it can bring your company. You don’t want to be labeled as the company that condones these acts.

There is a great chance that the former pedophile is now changing and is looking to start a new life, but when this information leaks or when your competition gets a hold of this fact, then you can expect a lot of scandals you have to face just because of that person.

While this example may seem too extreme, it is understandable that any scandal caused by mistakenly hiring someone is not welcome. A proper social media background check can protect your company’s reputation from scandals. Assure that this does not happen to you and your company by conducting a social media investigation before you hire.


Scandals are one thing, but lawsuits, you want to stay away from them at any cost. Scandals can ruin your company, yes, but lawsuits can also do that, in addition to making you spend money. Money that you could have been using for your expansion or growth, you’ll be force to shell out to save your company.

Lawsuits because of something that one of your employee caused is a very frustrating thing. This kind of bullet would have been easy to dodge, if only you went and hired an employment background screening company to make sure you are not hiring anybody who has a potential to ruin your company.


A very morbid thing to wish or suggest, don’t you think? While it may seem farfetched that a wrong hire could lead your company to bankruptcy, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

You never know how a bad hire can affect you and your company. At the very least, it can only affect some of your employees if for example, you mistakenly hire someone who is a pain to work with and will do anything to make the life of his colleagues a living hell. This can easily be solved by firing that person.
However, there is still that small chance that a mistaken hire could lead you to face company scandals, lawsuits and finally, bankruptcy.

Risks are inevitable, you can’t do a simple thing without facing risks, what more if you are running your own company. There are some risks in business that you cannot escape, they happen, whether you do something or not. On the other hand, there are some risks that you can lessen or even eliminate. This can be done by being careful and vigilant.

When hiring someone for your company, you have to remember that you are not only hiring the person you perceive when you read a resume. You are hiring an actual person, somebody who has a past and has a personal life. Their life may or may not affect you and your company, but making sure it doesn’t is something you can do.
There are companies that that offer to help you screen potential hires. These companies can ensure you that their FCRA certified analysts will adhere to guidelines and will only give you social media reports that are governed by strict regulations making sure that the subjects of their social media surveillance will be treated appropriately and fairly. Over the last decade, the number of employers hiring these companies to do a background check to screen candidates has risen to over 500%.

During these times, the fear that you will be doing something unethical and should be overpowered by your will to have peace of mind when hiring for your company. After all, you wouldn’t want to endanger your company with something that can easily be given a solution. These social media screening companies have guidelines to make sure they don’t do anything unethical to your potential hires. So, rest assured there is nothing unethical with what you are doing.

Author's Bio: 

Max Drucker is the CEO and Founder of Social Intelligence, the premiere social media screening provider in the market. Social media search products are their bread and butter.