Social intelligence is not just the name of a year old company that "scrapes the Internet for everything prospective employees may have said or done online in the past seven years," according to a recent NY Times article.
Social intelligence needs to become your way of life.
More and more companies are performing social media background checks on prospective employees. Some are outsourcing this task to socialintelligence.com (SI). SI assembles the good and the bad on each candidate.
The bad? Online racist remarks; references to drugs; sexually explicit photos, text messages or videos; flagrant displays of weapons and clearly identifiable violent activity.
SI's reports remove references to a person’s religion, race, marital status, sexual orientation, disability and other information protected under federal employment laws, which companies are not supposed to ask about during interviews. Also, job candidates must first consent to the background check, and they are notified of any adverse information found.
Less than a third of the data surfaced by SI comes from major sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Much of the negative information comes from comments on blogs and posts on smaller social networks, Tumblr, Yahoo listservs, e-commerce sites, bulletin boards and even Craigslist.
Then there are the photos and videos that people post — or find themselves tagged in — on Facebook and YouTube and other sharing sites.
Don't say I didn't warn you. In 2010, I told you to "shut up." Still, users often don't realize that much of the comments or content they generate is publicly available.
Remember that 75 percent of recruiters perform online research on candidates. And 70 percent of recruiters in the United States report that they have rejected candidates because of information online.
You have been warned.