While it may feel like an invasion of privacy for some, social media screenings have become a customary “background check” for companies looking to hire.
During an interview with 702, Zanele Luvuno, managing director of consultancy firm Transcend Talent Management, said that companies carrying out screenings on potential employees will often conduct an audit on:
- All your major social media accounts
- The type of content you’re sharing/commenting
- If any ‘major themes’ occur across your platforms
- Things that you may be ‘known for’ and any potential risks you pose to the company
However, the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) does offer applicants some protection. According to the Act; the applicant must be informed that their personal information is being collected and must give consent to the processing of their personal information, while the record of their personal information may not be kept for longer than achieving the purpose for which it was collected.
That being said, an employer is still entitled to make decisions based on results from social media screenings. According to Luvuno, potential employers might not find anything dubious during their screening but could still decide that you are not well suited for the company and its culture, based on your profiles.