Next time you share photos of yourself online, stop and think about how it could impact your next career move. When I was flat hunting, a prospective landlord told me that he was going to check my Facebook profile. I was taken aback! Isn’t that a bit odd and intrusive!? However, he has every right to if I am going to live in his house as it is a flip-book of the activities I get up to.

Same applies when you are looking for a new job. In recruitment, a variety of methods are used to check the honesty and character of our candidates, and yes stalking your social media accounts is one of them. Here’s why, we are in the recruitment business for two reasons: one, to find the perfect employee for our clients, and two, to find the perfect role, company and fit for you, our candidates. The thing is, we’re not fortune tellers. When we meet you for the first time, you’re a blank slate. We don’t know who you are, what you’re like or how you would click with our clients. In reality, a portion of recruitment is professional stalking and detective work! It’s our job to unearth as much information about you as possible before we put you forward for a role that works with your unique skill set and is suitable for both you and our client, and researching you on social media is part of the background check process.

In a simple nutshell, our background checks involve the following:

  • Criminal Checks through the Ministry of Justice – This is a crucial step to check on any potential aliases that might be listed to your name and prior criminal convictions
  • Qualification Checks – We verify any education or qualifications that you state you have on your CV, so don’t lie if you didn’t really complete that Bachelor of Arts!
  • Credit Check – Again checking things like aliases and any fraudulent activity
  • Social Media Checks – A quick Google of your name, coupled with a look at your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to see if there is anything concerning that might jump out!

If you think the last step in our process is intrusive to your private and social life, legally in New Zealand you can indeed be dismissed due to your activity online. Remember the 2016 Air New Zealand scandal where several staff were under investigation based on what they posted online? – Read Article Here

Recruiters are also not the only people who might Facebook-stalk you. As mentioned earlier, when landlords and property managers hunt for a tenant, social media-based research is up there with background checks. They need reassurance that the people who are going to live in their property will not trash it. If your social media profiles give them the impression that you might just do that, they will move onto the next candidate – it’s as simple as that.

In no way are we saying that your social media profiles have to read like an online CV. Life is meant to be lived, cat videos and all! Just be aware that whatever you post could come into account when looking for a new job. Our advice, do a quick character check on yourself. What are the first things that pop up on your account? Anything potentially detrimental to your professional portfolio, remove, or lock it down and make your social media existence private.