Jun 10 2021

Common pitfalls in screening social media… and how to avoid them!

A number of recent surveys have found that businesses believe it is important to vet their candidates online presence, and with more and more companies doing this its important that they understand these 4 big pitfalls.


This is a big one – if an organisation is going to start reviewing a candidate or employees online presence there needs to be some objective criteria that it is being reviewed against. Its not good enough for a vetting agent to simply undertake a quick google search or scroll through a Facebook feed. It’s also essential so that personal feelings don’t creep in – if there is no objective criteria that the information is reviewed against, you’re reliant on the researcher’s personal views…

At NetWatch we objectively assess a candidates online presence against criteria set by you, and work with you to devise an appropriate RAG rating system for easy review.


If bias creeps into your recruitment or review process this can be very dangerous, and unfortunately it can happen very easily. Perhaps the easiest way this can happen is if all of the subject’s social media and online accounts aren’t located. People with more obscure names might find their accounts are reviewed every time – whereas people with more common names find their accounts aren’t reviewed because the researcher cannot find their account. This biases the process hugely – if you’re not reviewing every account for every candidate or employee the process is inherently flawed.

Some of our clients that undertake this work internally choose to rely on our Profile Finder Plus tool to guarantee they locate all a candidates social accounts quickly and easily. Others rely on the expertise of the NetWatch team to undertake a professional review for them.

Compliance & Doubt

There is a lot of misinformation about what you can and cannot do when undertaking a piece of due diligence, with many companies putting themselves at risk by having no set process in place and being unsure how to approach it. What is important is that any vetting exercise is done professionally and within the confines of the law. We work with companies to ensure they remain compliant, and get the best possible due diligence report to aide their decision making.

Missing Information

Undertaking a thorough piece of online due diligence is not as simple as navigating to a Facebook site and scrolling through the feed. This would probably be the single biggest mistake you could make when vetting someone’s social media account and will guarantee that key information is missed.

There is nothing worse than feeling that you have undertaken a thorough review, only for a post to emerge later down the line. Ultimately its safer to hire a professional organisation than rely on a member of staff who has either had no training, or only been on a basic course.

Learn more about the NetWatch approach to online screening and vetting

At NetWatch we specialise in locating and analysing online information in a professional and compliant manner, as such we are well placed to assist when it comes to screening and vetting existing staff or potential new hires.

Learn More

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