Over the past few years social media has become an integral part of our society. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have allowed us to make contact with old friends, access news in real time and build networks in ways that would have been unimaginable merely a decade ago. Social media has also proved to be a useful tool for recruiters – with a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management suggesting that 90% of us routinely vet the social media accounts of prospective candidates before making offers of employment.

Whilst social media can be incredibly useful in allowing us to build a better picture of a candidate’s personality and temperament, there are some privacy implications that we need to be aware of when carrying out screening.


As a result of the exponential growth of social media and its increased use in the recruitment industry, it is no surprise that a number of companies have emerged that specialise in the screening process.  Using a third party to conduct screening will ensure that only information that is relevant and legal will be used in the process, and remove the risk of unconsciously violating data protection or equality laws. Generally, third party screeners will offer two forms of screening: character searches and reputation searches. However, even if we are using a third party to conduct our social media screening, we still need to provide a notice informing candidates that their data will be used and any contract that we hold with a third party provider needs to itself be GDPR compliant.


It is clear that there are a number of advantages to social media screening, as it allows us to build a much more complete picture of a candidate’s personality, temperament and suitability for a particular role than is possible at interview. However, we need to be aware at all times of the relevant data protection and equality laws and ensure that we are compliant with these.

With this in mind, it may be best to outsource our screening activities to a third party, who can ensure that the process is carried out consistently and in compliance with the law. However, even if we are using third parties, we still need to inform candidates that screening will take place and make sure that any contracts we hold with outside companies are fully compliant with data protection legislation.

By choosing to work with DriveForce, you will be selecting a recruitment agency where candidates are thoroughly vetted before being offered employment, whilst our staff are fully aware of – and compliant with – their responsibilities concerning data protection and equality laws. This means that we are able to make full use of social media as a recruitment tool and select only the best and most suitable candidates for positions. You can be assured that we are vigorous in our selection processes, and are able to make full use of all the methods available to us in the screening of candidates.