Holistic Screening: How Social Media Screening Complements Your Background Screening Workflow

As the landscape of social media increases, employers are evolving their ways to account for online content in the hiring process. While changes to traditional background screening procedures are slow to come, a new approach to screening is emerging: holistic screening.

A holistic screening approach utilizes a combination of traditional criminal searches as well as social media screening as a means of creating a fuller picture of a candidate, with the goal being a cleaner hiring process that attracts better matches and weeds out problematic hires.

Takes a deeper look at the individual. 

A holistic screening approach involves examining not just criminal behavior but social behavior as well. Plenty of problematic or unacceptable behaviors go undetected by criminal background searches but can still be considered business-related behavior as it relates to the health and productivity of other employees. Utilizing social media screening as a supplement to criminal searches helps HR managers catch intolerant behavior that may be in violation of company values.

Bolsters D&I initiatives

With a holistic screening process, HR managers have the opportunity to support their D&I initiatives by taking a closer look at how all candidates view and interact with diversity and inclusion initiatives.

A thoughtful, holistic D&I program is only as good as the majority of its non-protected-class employees, meaning that a healthy D&I program is looking at everyone that comes through the door–not just shoring up diversity recruiting. This is a trend that is cropping up across the HR landscape: D&I managers are getting involved in talent acquisitions.

On the other hand, holistic screening isn’t just about “not hiring the racist”. Using a combination of social media screening and traditional background screening can be useful in helping to level the playing field for candidates who do come back with something on their record. As talent and acquisitions search for new pools of talent, as “ban the box” campaigns gain momentum, and as laws around low-level convictions such as marijuana possession change with the times, talent and acquisitions is starting to turn towards candidates with records as a viable option.

With a holistic approach, the logic works both ways: candidates that come back with a record can be checked against their social media screening report, just like the flagged hits of another candidate’s social media report can be weighed against a clean criminal record. In either case, HR has the opportunity to closely consider a fuller range of a candidate’s behavior–meaning more data to examine a candidate for alignment with company values.

Sets up workplaces for success

A thoughtful, holistic hiring practice is better equipped to set up a workplace for success. Not only does that mean that better talent is coming through the door, it means companies could save themselves a load of paperwork later. Social media screening isn’t just about screening for “bad behavior”, it’s also about finding more socially astute, responsible candidates that carry the integrity of their personal lives into their professional lives. Better, more socially astute candidates equals less hostile behavior in the workplaces equals less disciplinary actions taken equals higher employee retention equals higher productivity and a healthier bottom line.

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