Employers are judging you on your online presence


Source: Forbes.com

The idea of social media background checks being carried out by companies is certainly not a new concept.    But how many of you were aware this was a service offered by Private Investigators?

You may not realise, but potential (and current) employers, insurance agencies and solicitors are all engaging Private Investigators, including Online Investigations Pty Ltd, to undertake social media background checks.

Only a few years ago in 2010, when we were first asked to comment on the use of social media in investigations, our response that we actively monitored individuals’ online presence resulted in the headline “Private investigators use Facebook to uncover insurance fraud“.  Would this statement make news these days? More than likely, no.  The more we incorporate the Internet into our everyday lives, the higher the expectation it will be used to judge us accordingly.  Most of us now accept the notion – if we don’t want everyone to know, don’t post it online.

What do you have to hide?
What do you have to hide online?

One recent employer when asked the question whether they checked potential employees online presence stated:

“This is a warning for the younger generation. Everything online is fair game and they need to learn that if I, as a potential employer, saw behaviour I felt didn’t fit with the team, or I discovered things about them that reflected negatively, or there is a pattern of behaviour that’s likely to lead to work performance issues, then they won’t be getting the job. People should assume that employers are checking out what how their employees are potentially representing their company online.”

So how do social media background checks work? Private Investigation companies will receive instructions from their client (aka your potential employer, insurance agent etc) typically with your full name, date of birth, mobile number and email address.  We as Private Investigators will then conduct a full online profile (sourcing only legally obtainable information) and provide our client an overview of what your online presence tells about you.  This usually focuses on the following:

  • Identity Verification
  • Positive references
  • Negative references
  • Affiliations with associations, clubs, organisations
  • Blogs, forums, group postings
  • Employment/Education history

One thing a social media background check can’t report on for obvious reasons is your race, sexual orientation, national origin or religious affiliation.  Anything which essentially is considered discriminatory as part of the hiring process.  The purpose of a social media background check is to identify what publically available information about an individuals private persona could interfer with the ‘brand’ that may be looking to hire them.

The majority of job applicants know that posting pictures of that wild weekend away on the Gold Coast is probably not the best idea, but is it a potential employers business what an applicant does in their spare time? Based on demand for this service – yes it is.

Consider it your ‘online’ reference check.

Online Investigations are the leading providers of online profiling and background checking solutions.  Incorporating social media research into all of our investigations allows us to have a distinct advantage over other Private Investigation companies.  

To enquire about our range of background checks, including social media research, please contact us or alternatively call us on 1300 884 596.

Online Investigations Pty Ltd are a private investigation company based in Melbourne, Australia.  Experienced private investigators and detectives in Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and Worldwide. Servicing Canberra, Sydney, Darwin, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and International.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *