Cyber investigation is the process of checking an applicant’s background beyond the resume submitted through digital channels such as social media platforms.
Such verification can allow an employer to understand what the candidate’s habits and lifestyle are and if it suits their company. However, the applicant will be left in the dark as he will never know if an employer has verified it.
What is the problem?
Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, there is hardly any information that is completely private. Users now show their lives completely on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. When employers analyze such intimate details about an applicant without their knowledge, it is a major invasion of their privacy and is considered highly unethical.
Employers often see red flags with content that encourages substance abuse, suggestive posts, or negative comments about their employers. Some may even notice writing skills.
Furthermore, it can be extremely wrong to make unemployment decisions based on these profiles, as many users of these platforms create an alternative perception of their personality for the public to use.
What is the solution?
The answer is pretty straightforward. Companies must work to incorporate transparency and consent into all their practices.
If a company chooses to use the cyber background check, it must obtain the applicant’s written consent to keep everyone informed about the process. Also, if questionable material is found during this process, a dialogue should be initiated between the employer and the applicant rather than developing an out-of-context judgment beforehand.
From the perspective of most applicants, and depending on the position as well, many have become more aware of what they are posting and are taking additional steps to create a more professionally acceptable online personality.