Social Media Background Check Companies

As much as 70% of employers use social media to research candidates, 57% decide not to hire a candidate based on their online persona, and 47% wouldn’t consider a person for an interview if they can’t find anything about them online. After hiring, 48% of employers continuously monitor their employees.

Pre-employment social screening is a complex process regulated by the FCRA and other relevant employment laws. We handpicked social media background check companies that take the guesswork away, delivering compliant, comprehensive, and insightful reports. More on social media background checks and the best screening experts below.

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The Best Social Media Background Check Services

Ferretly Logo

Ferretly

AI-Powered Social Media Screening

Ferretly is helping organizations mitigate employment risk and turnover costs with state-of-the-art pre-employment social media screening intelligence. It offers unique services like influencer screening for brands to pick the best ambassadors, social screening services for custody cases, divorces, juror vetting, fraud, criminal trials, and other industry-specific services.

  • Social Media Screening
Sterling Logo

Sterling

People First, Always.

Since 1975, Sterling has been focused on helping organizations build trust and safety for their employees, customers, and business partners. Over 40,000+ businesses globally rely on Sterling’s advanced employee background check solutions to recruit, hire, and monitor their teams. With decades of experience, expertise in dozens of industries, multiple integrations, and fast turnaround times, Sterling is one of the best employee background check providers to hire.

  • Civil and Criminal Records Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • MVR Checks
  • Social Media Background Checks
Peopletrail logo

Peopletrail

Discover the Safest Hiring Trail With Peopletrail's Advanced Employment Background Checks.

Peopletrail is a premier employment screening company known for its unique Actionable Insights model. It means organizing data in the reports in a way that will further assist hiring managers in their decision-making process, all that with an industry-leading turnaround time of 1.6 days. Over 20,000+ businesses use Peopletrail as their criminal background company of choice.

  • Personal Background Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Criminal Records Checks
  • Social Media Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
Accurate Logo

Accurate

Screening, optimized.

With a 98.5% client retention rate, 90% first call resolution, and a team of 1,700+ screening experts, AccurateNow is the go-to provider of background check services for small businesses. Marrying advanced processes and intelligent technology, AccurateNow provides an optimized background screening experience for both candidates and employers. Its employee background check process delivers a 99.99% accuracy rate, allowing employers to hire with peace of mind.

  • Business Intelligence
  • Employment Credit Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • MVR Checks

What Are Social Media Background Check Services?

A social media background check for employment involves an investigation of candidates’ social media profiles and content. These social channels allow employers to gather valuable insights into their prospective employee’s personality and views that none of the traditional screening methods can reveal. Unlike recreational scrolling through someone’s feed, business owners and hiring managers must use social media information with specific rules in mind.

Performing Social Media Background Check on Yourself

Given that the majority of employers perform social media checks, job hunters are better off performing a social media background check on themselves before applying. These checks go seven years back, quite a long period for anyone to remember their social media activity. For this reason, running a social media background check on yourself and cleaning up possibly problematic content is recommended before diving into a serious job search.

 

Reasons for Employers to Use Social Media Background Check Services 

Two reasons stand out for why employers should use professional services for pre-employment social media screening rather than do it themselves. First, viewing information classified as “protected” can lead to discrimination lawsuits. In some cases, applicants can provide fake accounts with curated content that doesn’t show their real views, attitudes, and personalities. 

Legal Protection & Compliance

Seeing protected information like candidates’ gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation is against the law during the recruitment process. Social media screening companies can perform FCRA-compliant social checks conducted under all federal, state, local, and other relevant laws and regulations. 

Customized Approach

These companies can tweak their expertise and services in a way that best serves your needs. The top social media background screeners will even provide reports in your preferred format.

Actionable Information

Professional pre-employment screeners know the ins and outs of investigating someone on social media. They can put together detailed reports that you can use to make more informed hiring decisions.

Reduced Bias

The top-of-the-line social background check companies use a combination of artificial intelligence, image recognition, and language processing to detect troublesome elements like racism, sexism, hate, toxicity, and help employers reduce bias in their decision-making process. 

Mitigating Insider Threat and Protecting Culture

If a person is radiating negativity on social media, chances are they will bring their toxicity and bad attitudes to your workplace. Someone’s personal views may differ from your company’s values which could lead to reputation damage, separation among team members, and other unwanted consequences. Social media background check services can help you detect the overall best fit for your company and help you maintain a positive and supportive work atmosphere. 

Reducing Employee Turnover

Employers spend on average 33% of workers’ annual salaries to replace an employee, which translates into dozens of thousands of dollars wasted on a single bad hire. Social media background screening services can help you reduce employee turnover by getting to know the unfiltered personality of your candidates.

 

Our Criteria for Selecting Social Media Background Check Companies 

Only the industry’s best companies can efficiently help you achieve the above goals which is why we took the extra time to select them, applying our meticulous approach.  

First Phase: Checking Compliance and Reputation

These companies follow the same FCRA guidelines for employment, excluding the length of time. Such checks can cover up to seven years of social media history. 

Employers meanwhile can use anything with the potential to cause trouble and damage in the workplace, including hate speech, sexually explicit content, toxic, obscene, or discriminatory views and language, etc. Information related to marital status, religious views, sexual orientation, veteran status, and citizenship, however, is off-limits.

We begin our research of social media background check companies with a website check. We look for clear explanations of services, FCRA compliance, understanding of state, federal, local, and other regulations related to hiring and employment. Reputable background screening companies won’t begin the process unless the employer provides written permission for conducting the check. They will never make questionable promises like hacking an account or creating fake accounts to gain access to the content of private accounts. Note that a social media background check can’t find deleted accounts, although they still might appear in search engines. We also check client testimonials and reviews on independent platforms to verify their claims.

Second Phase: Verifying Their Social Media Expertise

Elements of Social Media Background Checks

We evaluate the scope of the expertise of social media background check companies across multiple verticals

Multi-platform Coverage 

We look for companies that exhaust all social media channels, from the most popular ones like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, TikTok, and more. Multi-platform investigations can show you different aspects of one’s views and personality hence it’s important to cover more online spaces.

Detailed Investigations

Some candidates would go to great lengths to cover their social media presence from prospective employers. Social media screening companies know all the tricks of the trade to uncover the most hidden details about one’s social media activity. They cross-check the information across different platforms to create accurate reports. The best companies typically use artificial intelligence to scan the subject’s public social presence like photos, posts, comments while following FCRA and federal, state, local, and other relevant rules. 

Aside from social media platforms, the best services scan other social channels like online news sources, social networking websites, blogs, and other outlets to create insightful reports.

Customized Checks

We look for companies that can customize their offerings to meet their clients’ needs. Whether you’re looking for information on specific topics or would like to receive a multi-platform report, social media background check companies on our list can deliver.

Actionable Reports

Social media data doesn’t have structure, making it harder to process than traditional sources. For this reason, we look for companies that can translate the gathered social media information into actionable reports. This way, hiring managers and employers can easily process the findings and make better decisions instantly.

Social Media Risk Factors

To verify the quality of the reports, we evaluate risk factors. The top companies use multiple metrics that help employers determine whether a candidate is a good fit for their organization. Most professional firms typically use the following combination of risk factors:

Professional Misconduct

Social media background check companies can help you uncover whether a prospective employee has shown unacceptable or unethical behavior in the workplace. This could include bullying or bad-mouthing coworkers, expressing criticism towards former employers in an offensive way, giving out company secrets and protected information, etc.

Discriminatory Behavior

Welcoming a person with discriminatory views based on gender, race, religious affiliation, age, etc., can significantly damage the workplace culture, productivity, and the company reputation, primarily when it occurs among the higher levels of management. The social media screening companies on our list can dig across all social channels for racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, and other troublesome content. They even check whether the individual engages with discriminatory groups, pages, and other content. 

Violent Behavior

Violent behavior on social media is just as unacceptable as in real life. Whether it’s sharing violent content, making violence-fuelled comments, or supporting violence in any way, social media screeners can detect such behavior and warn you of dangerous candidates before it’s too late. 

Illegal Behavior

Social media background check companies can uncover whether a prospective candidate engages in illegal behavior on social media like sharing child pornography, promoting the consumption of narcotics, posting harmful information, etc. 

Sexual Behavior

Sexual behavior could be an important metric of reputation, especially if you’re hiring for roles that require maintaining a particular image. Troublesome sexual behavior includes posting nude images and videos of themselves or other people, promoting pornography, sexually harassing people online, etc.

Inappropriate Behavior

Inappropriate behavior is another metric we expect to see in professionally crafted social media background checks. It’s related to promoting frequent drinking and drunk states, songs with explicit lyrics, and other inappropriate content. 

Self Harm

Individuals indicating that they want to intentionally harm themselves or take their own life on social media could be putting on a fake smile in real life. Social media screening companies can alarm employers of such hidden signs. 

Political Speech

People who frequently post content related to politics, governmental affairs, or sensitive topics like abortion, immigration, and vaccination could turn into a source of intolerance and separation in the workplace.

Insults and Bullying

People who name-call, or make derogatory statements regarding other people’s weight, features, height, intelligence, or overall physical appearance on social media are very likely to bring their toxic traits into the workplace. 

Obscene Language

Individuals who use obscene language like cursing, swearing, and in general vulgar words and phrases on social media could possibly do that with team members and customers. 

Toxic Language

Creating, sharing, and supporting content that contains disrespectful language, shaming, blaming, using guilt, labeling, and spreading unnecessary negativity is a red flag for most employers. 

Custom Keywords

The top social media background check companies allow employers to list custom keywords for social media investigation. They would flag posts based on matching content, whether text or images. Note that some keywords like religion, marital status, race, etc. are forbidden to use in the pre-employment background screening process. 

Other Social Media Screening Services

For employers that need more comprehensive checks, some companies extend their social media background check services to the following:

Image Content Analysis

This service involves analyzing every image the screening subject has posted. The images are subject to risk factor classification, which indicates whether they contain explicit, violent, inappropriate, controversial, or drug or alcohol-related elements. Some companies will even allow you to create a list of keywords and have them search for flags related to them.

Web and News Search

In addition to social media posts, group memberships, and engagements, some social media screening companies offer to research web and news sources for articles and other content related to the candidate in question. This service is often available as an add-on to regular social media background checks.

Continuous Monitoring

Continous social media monitoring helps employers avoid reputation damage, controversy, and insider threat. Many people get fired due to inappropriate social media posts, meaning that even after landing a job, employees should be cautious of what they post online. This service provided by some social media background check companies allows employers to choose the number of subjects, and the frequency of monitoring (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually) to receive alerts on potential red flags related to the subjects’ online behavior.

Evaluation of Other Services

Social media background checks are often conducted by fully-rounded employment background check services that offer the following services: 

As consumer reporting agencies adhering to the FCRA regulations, many companies also provide tenant screening services for property owners and managers. 

Third Phase: Evaluating Other Important Factors

We further evaluate the social media background check services for the quality of their reports, turnaround time, customer support, and prices compared to industry standards. 

Report Structure

We analyzed the structure of their reports to determine whether they are easy to process and provide actionable insights that take the guesswork out of the decision-making process.

Reputable companies usually divide their reports into multiple categories like hate speech, violence, toxic language, political speech, obscene language, sexual impropriety, professional misconduct, illegal behavior, and more, making it easy for employers to digest the information and make better hiring decisions.

Turnaround Time

Social media background services typically take one business day. We tested the listed companies to ensure they deliver fast results.

Customer Support

We reached out to the companies through call, email, and live chat (where available), to evaluate their customer service. Services backed by attentive representatives and fast response time landed a spot on our list.

Pricing

More basic social media background checks typically cost $15 per report. Prices can go up to $40 for searches that cover seven years of social media history, multiple platforms, web and news searches, sentiment and image content analysis, continuous screening, and more. You might score a better price for bulk orders or if you have an entire background screening program that involves multiple services and searches. 

Fourth Phase: Final Evaluation

We go through the gathered data and review the social media background check companies’ performance in every stage of our evaluation process. In the last stage, we rank the companies based on their overall performance, primarily in conducting social media background checks and secondly based on their experience, customer feedback, reputation, customer support, and pricing.

 

Social Media Screening for Employment FAQs

What does a social media background check consist of?

Social media background checks cover the platforms where an individual has accounts, possible red flags, web and news information, sentiment, and image content analysis. Social media background check companies typically divide their reports into multiple risk classifications like hate speech, intolerance, illegal behavior, violent behavior, insults, bullying, narcotics, and other categories. Each category gives out information on whether related problematic behavior was detected.

How do I fail a social media background check?

It could be that “fast and furious” ride that got you a DUI and you decided to brag about it on Instagram. Continuously posting provocative images of yourself or others may suggest to potential employees that you are self-absorbed, don’t care about your reputation, and engage in questionable behavior. 

Promoting and consuming overly sexual content can also get you in trouble, suggesting possible sexual harassment at the workplace. Countless pictures of partying at the club and drinking will concern prospective employers that you won’t show up on time, or won’t be productive. Posting or leaving negative, discriminatory, or obscene content is another red flag for employers. 

Multiple behaviors and factors could lead to failing a social media background check. With the majority of employers hiring social background check companies nowadays, candidates must be cautious about how they present themselves online. 

What social media sites do employers check?

Employers are most interested in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They use LinkedIn as a way to verify qualifications and gain other work-related information. The rest of the platforms are more personal, and employers use them to learn about the candidate’s personality, views, interests, interactions, and behavior in their private life. 

How long does a social media background check take?

A social media background check for employment typically takes one business day.