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“Social Intelligence” Searches Social Media History for Employers


Criminal background checks and credit reports aren’t the only way employers can research potential employees anymore. A new year old start-up company, Social Intelligence, now scrapes the internet for anything a prospective employee has said or done within the past 7 years. Long gone are the days where your social life and job life didn’t mix.

This new way of researching a potential employee is definitely raising eyebrows when it comes to security questions. But according to Max Drucker, chief executive of the company, they are only finding what is publicly available online. The Federal Trade Commission has determined that the company is in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

What kinds of information is the company finding that would cause a person not to be hired? A little bit of everything it seems. From nude photos and racist remarks to someone searching OxyContin on Craigslist.

Here are some interesting numbers: “75 percent of recruiters are required by their companies to do online research of candidates. And 70 percent of recruiters in the United States report that they have rejected candidates because of information online”.

What does this all mean? Since it looks like employers researching a potential employee online is not in any way illegal, it means you should be careful what you put out there if you are looking for a job or plan to do so within the next 7 years. It also means that hiring people is harder than ever. Employers have to decide what’s important and what’s not important when they are looking at potential candidates for the job at hand.

What do you think about Social Intelligence and what they do for employers? Do you think it crosses the line between work and our personal lives?

Source: NY Times

Image: SXC


  • Anonymous

    I have to say that this completely disturbs me and is kind of upsetting. Sites like FB were never intended to be used by future employers. I’ve never put up questionable updates or pictures, but I do feel bad for the college senior who joined 3 years ago, had fun with the site (thinking it was private) and is now trying to get a job. 

  • Kirsten Wright

    YIKES! I am very careful with what I put on mine, but it’s because I know the side effects and own my own business. Those who are young (and naive) are going to be in a lot of trouble if this really gets widely used. The one question I have is: is there a way for those looking for a job can see what the employer would see?

  • Kmontgomery211

    Companies like this Social Intelligence are simply opportunistic leeches which have emerge in this new digital age we live in. These folks, like Max Drucker and his ilk, observed what we all have known for awhile, that information published online is publicly available and available for aggregation, so being good business people they said to themselves how can we make a quick buck by exploiting this new reality, and thus Social Intelligence was born! 

    I think many folks saw this coming, but I was wondering who would be the first to crawl down into the mud to provide services such as these. But sadly, corporate America is apparently a serious buyer of these services, which is not shocking to me at all, precisely why I work for myself! 

    Give it time, pretty soon nobody will be qualified for a corporate job in this country because folks like Social Intelligence have revived the stigma of the Scarlet Letter, and why? Because a recent college grad had a picture of Face Book of him or her hitting a bong on graduation day?

    And we wonder why the best, brightest, and most creative employees are leaving the U.S. and working in very lucrative jobs in India and through out Asia?

    But regardless of my personal distaste for this new trend, and opportunists who create no value in any real sense to anyone such as Max Drucker’s Social Intelligence, we have to hand it to them, they saw a market opening with a demand, and exploited it to make another quick buck!

  • architects midlands

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  • intelifi.com

    This is so sad and I am sure will do more harm than good in the future…why do some people have to spoil a good thing?

  • henry pherson

    Yah this is true soclial media today is very helpful to employers even me i was hired through my social media network account. And even authorities can determine suspects and people through social media.

  • Gracearreza2007

    I agree with NikkiKatz. 

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