Background screening and vetting company Managed Integrity Evaluation (MIE) has partnered with a reputable provider to expand its inclusive background screening service and now also offers comprehensive screening of all social media activities of potential employees for companies across Africa.
MIE CEO, Ina van der Merwe, comments: “We are very excited about adding social media checks to our already expansive background screening offering.”
The service spans/includes all social media platforms, where complete assessments are conducted in compliance with the latest legislation and guidelines for the protection of information. The comprehensive social media checks are structured around a number of elements that are assessed, scored and reported on.
“In this digital age, and as data charges drop, social media penetration is growing rapidly. Today many of the apps, used most frequently by consumers, have surpassed being a mere tool and have become a lifeline to information about the world around them. It stands to reason then that social media can be a lifeline for businesses — and particularly in acquiring and retaining the right talent,” adds van der Merwe.
According to the 2017 Digital Landscape in South Africa study, with over 15-million users in South Africa alone, social media has become the primary reason users access the Internet — where these platforms are readily accessed at least once a day by 40% of South Africans. “While businesses have been using social media optimisation for a number of years to aid in marketing themselves to the public and learning more about their consumers, it is now also being used more progressively as a tool in their recruitment efforts and to assess and vet potential employee candidates,” says van der Merwe.
In fact, the latest study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reveals that using social media, as a tool to engage with, and attract talent, continues to grow in popularity and efficacy. Van der Merwe believes that this trend will grow even further in the next few years as more millennials enter the job market.
“Maintaining organisational culture has experienced steady growth of importance over the last decade, however, in this age of the millennial worker we expect this to become more mainstream. Culture-fit — for both the employer and candidate – will become as important as a deciding factor to appointment as qualifications, work experience and skill-sets.”
There are many potential benefits to be derived from social media screening. Social media profiles present a wealth of information on users, and the analysis of this can be used to identify any potential red flags around a candidate’s suitability to the business’s culture prior to, and post-appointment. However, it can also be leveraged to gain a deeper understanding of employees’ career and personal aspirations. Such data can then be mapped back to job roles or growth and development trajectories for improved employee satisfaction — which is known to have a significant impact on productivity.
“Many recruiters and HR professionals admittedly are already reviewing social media pages to vet candidates. However, unless they are adept with the latest legislation on privacy of information, to ensure they understand what data can be used, and how it should be analysed, their analysis may have gaps. Added to this, it is vital that any information gathered from a candidate’s social media pages is used appropriately, or a business may face a very real risk of discrimination or data protection claims,” adds van der Merwe.
“With over twenty-years of experience in background screening and managing sensitive private information about candidates, our service offerings are fully compliant with the confines of legislation. We continue to innovate and grow our offerings as our business aim is to be a preferred service provider of inclusive background screening checks. This is to ensure that we are able to assist our clients to minimise and manage their risks through informed hiring decisions,” concludes van der Merwe.