Carrying out Social Media Checks on prospective employees is now becoming the norm for many organisations, particularly in educational settings. Rather than outsourcing these checks to experts, many organisations are turning to in-house resources. In this blog we explore the pros and cons behind going in-house and look at some important aspects that you should consider when deciding whether to outsource or not.

Focusing on Core Skills

We know that when Social Media Checks are carried out in-house, more often than not they’re done by someone in the HR team. In conversations with our customers, the same subjects come up again and again, here are some examples:

“We do these checks, but we don’t really know what we’re doing so we probably only find a fraction of what’s out there.”

“My brilliant HR team shouldn’t really be wasting time doing something they’re not trained to do – there are plenty of other things to do – there’s just not enough time in the day!”

“I didn’t know there were companies out there that do these checks. It’s probably really expensive anyway, it takes us about half an hour per candidate to do a second rate job.”

HR experts are HR experts, not online research experts. We believe they should be focusing on what they’re best at.


One of the most convincing arguments against in-house Social Media Checks is the potential invasion of privacy. When companies and schools look into the personal lives of their employees or candidates through their social media profiles, it raises serious questions about boundaries and ethical factors. It’s imperative to respect individual privacy, even if those individuals are connected with your organisation. By outsourcing Social Media Checks to experts, you can ensure that privacy is safeguarded while still obtaining the necessary information, and that’s one of the reasons SP Index will not ask for the candidate’s social media handles/logins when performing the check.

Legal Issues

Performing in-house Social Media Checks could lead to a host of legal and ethical issues. Employers in educational settings may inadvertently access protected information, discriminate based on personal beliefs, or make prejudiced judgments. These actions could lead to severe consequences, including legal action, damaged reputation, and loss of trust from other employees or students. Professionals like SP Index are well-versed in privacy laws and ethical guidelines and know how navigate these, mitigating the risks involved.


Social media content is often filled with sarcasm, satire, and alternative humour and memes. In-house staff may misinterpret these posts or comments, leading to unfair conclusions about an individual’s character or intentions. At SP Index all posts, images, videos, likes and shares are interpreted by our Social intelligence Team contextualising what they see and avoiding misunderstandings.


In-house checks can unintentionally cause bias and prejudice. Those performing the checks may subconsciously or consciously favour certain attributes, beliefs, or characteristics. This bias can lead to unfair decisions in hiring, promotion, or in the recruitment process. Outsourcing to experts like SP Index, ensures an objective, impartial evaluation that adheres to industry standards.

We recognise the fact that sometimes it might feel better to keep things in-house and we also recognise that outsourcing has a cost attached to it, but then so does using valuable HR resource. Many organisations, including schools and colleges, have taken the plunge and now outsource these checks to the professionals.

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