March 16th, 2023 | Sterling

Off Limits: 3 Reasons Why Businesses Can Benefit from Outsourcing Social Media Screening

With the prevalence of social media spreading far and wide, many of us have become “digital natives” and feel comfortable navigating several social media platforms at once.

The ubiquity of social media has even spread to the workplace. In a 2020 survey from The Harris Poll, 70% believe employers should screen all applicants’ social media profiles, while the majority (67%) say they use social networking sites to research potential job candidates. For those using social networking to research candidates, more than half (55%) have found content that caused them not to hire the applicant.

However, using social media for recruitment purposes also comes with inherent risks and challenges that may not be apparent to your H.R. teams. Often, businesses can realize several benefits from outsourcing their social media screening to a background screening vendor. In this article we take a look at three of the most compelling reasons.

1. Compliance and Avoiding Bias

One of the major reasons companies outsource social media screening to third-party background screening services is due to the compliance requirements surrounding this hotly-debated practice.

Without a clear understanding of discrimination laws, H.R. teams can easily violate hiring regulations and risk be accused of discriminatory practices. This creates potential financial and reputational damage for a business. It may even result in the loss of future talent since discriminatory practices found in the recruitment process may lead top talent to look elsewhere for employment.

There is also the potential for unconscious bias to creep into social media screening. H.R. hiring teams inexperienced with the practice may mistakenly take factors like a candidate’s gender, ethnicity, disability, age, marital status, or sexual orientation into account when making their hiring decisions. Naturally, this biased decision-making is not conducive for resulting in the most suitable hire overall.

Using an experienced social media screening provider helps ensures that social media screening is conducted in a legally compliant and unbiased manner. Sterling  uses an automated screening program that is FCRA, GDPR, and EEOC compliant, and abides by all applicable local, state, and federal regulations. he program ensures that social media screening is undertaken objectively by removing personal characteristics that could otherwise expose the hiring process to unconscious bias or discrimination.

2. Effective Background Screening Framework

Another important reason for outsourcing social media screening is to allow third-party providers to incorporate their expertise and use social media screening to uncover only the information that really matters in the hiring process.

Experienced background screening providers typically use automated programs to provide hiring teams with a complete picture of candidates. For instance, the program used by Sterling triple authenticates social media profiles by combining best-in-class artificial intelligence and trained investigators in a single, convenient workflow. H.R. teams are less able to match the technology and resources of a screening provider (after all, it’s not their main role) often, resulting in less effective and actionable insights.

Leveraging the expertise of a screening provider enables businesses to make better use of social media screening, along with gaining more accurate and reliable insights with which to make well-informed hiring decisions.

3. Efficiency in Hiring

In the same vein as effective background screening framework, experienced background screening providers will have the expertise to conduct social media screening faster and more cost-effectively than H.R. teams.

Background screening service providers have established infrastructure to conduct social media screening quickly and efficiently, with necessary procedures in place to ensure an optimal process. For example, Sterling ’s automated program is a consent-based solution offering candidates the right to challenge results in the case of any adverse outcomes.

The program also cuts down the time taken for social media screening. For example, it takes mere seconds to add a candidate to the web portal. H.R. teams, or even trained investigators, can take hours to conduct the same screening, and might lose additional time looking at relatively unimportant candidate data, much of which ultimately cannot be used in recruitment decisions.

Whilst it may seem counter-intuitive that outsourcing screening to an external provider could be cheaper than using in-house resources, consider that HR specialists are not necessarily background screening specialists. By enlisting the help of external screening providers, in-house H.R. specialists are freed up to use their skills on other projects and initiatives where they can leverage their internal knowledge and expertise.

Social Media Screening with Sterling

Sterling are specialists at delivering social media screening and other background screening services to businesses in the Asia-Pacific region. We utilise automated technology to ensure our services are conducted quickly, effectively, and affordably.

We have nuanced experience and knowledge of each of the markets in which we operate and can therefore offer advice customized to your business, including which social media platforms to screen and the regulations around social media screening in your jurisdiction/s.

If you’re interested in learning more or incorporating social media screening into your recruitment process, contact us on  to discuss your needs.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.