Not performing social media background checks? We sat down with Rob Stewart, CRO at Triton Canada to discuss the reasons why you absolutely should be.

First, you may be wondering what sort of company uses social media background checks. Rob breaks it down for us and explains that the number and type of businesses employing this tool continues to grow.

“We have seen a significant increase in the use of social media background checks the past couple of years. Leading the charge are organizations in the public eye such as policing, government, banking, and finance, for example. We are also seeing an upward tick in education and within religious organizations,” explained Rob.

Rob continued by stressing the importance of social media background checks when it comes to sectors that serve vulnerable populations.

“In this case, social media background checks complete the picture and include things the most intensive criminal background check won’t,” he stressed.

Rob also detailed the types of things social media background checks will look for, while dispelling concern that they could be used as a tool for discrimination.

“Our social media checks are not discriminatory and do not include things like sexual orientation, religion, race, and ethnicity, for example. However, a social media background check will flag a candidate for terrorism, violent language, weapons, or being anti-government etc.,” said Rob.

Although some types of background checks, such as a criminal background check, can give employers a definitive answer as to whether they should consider a potential candidate, Rob stressed that the social media background check is more of a tool used to collect information. There are no definitive right or wrong results.

“A candidate cannot fail a social media background check. The social media background check is meant to be an information source,” described Rob. “You are provided information, then you get the categories and number of violations and, from there, determine how those results are relevant to the position you are recruiting for.”

In such a data-dense world, one might wonder where the data is derived for social media background checks.

As Rob pointed out, the data is directly from the candidate themselves-albeit via social media, as the name of the check suggests.

“These reports are requested online and available within 48 hours,” Rob added.

When asked how he thought the social media background checks have changed the recruitment landscape, Rob noted they can benefit companies by providing potential risks associated with candidates.

“Social media background checks have changed the recruitment landscape because this tool not only gives insight for hiring but for potential PR risks to companies as well,” said Rob. “It has increased an organization’s purview over a candidate in a big way.”

When considering the future of social media background checks, Rob informs us the use of these checks is trending upward as a formal process and have already been occurring informally. In fact, Rob commented that they are set to become one of the most relied upon background checks.

“Social media background checks are informally and formally occurring already; this has now just become a formalized process,” stated Rob. “They are trending to become one of the most relied upon background checks by organizations, even more than other types of background checks that have historically been relief upon.”

We hope you found this blog helpful. Interested in learning more about making social media background checks part of your hiring process? Visit