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Immigration official suspended over racist posts – could Social Media Checks have helped?

Updated: Mar 27

The Home Office has suspended an immigration official following an investigation by the BBC which revealed racist content he had posted on WhatsApp. It is also understood that the Whatsapp group chat included former Met police officers.

This type of issue is unfortunately still prevalent in our society and people from all walks of life are understandably outraged. What makes this particular incident stand out is that the individual in question was an immigration official, which begs the question – how was someone with those values appointed by the Home Office in the first place?

Not only has public confidence in the Home Office’s hiring procedures taken a hit but the full extent of the damage done to the Home Office’s image as a fair and inclusive arm of government is yet to play out.

What is clear from this example and many before it is that the public will not tolerate racism, hate speech or any form of toxic content to permeate our society. Outrage is naturally directed at the employer and scrutiny is aimed at their values and hiring practices. The truth is that this news story is not an isolated incident and sadly it probably won’t be the last time something like this happens.

In the wake of this news story and many like it, the question employers and hiring managers will be asking themselves now is what they can do modernise their own hiring practices to minimise the risk of something similar happening?

The Social Media Background Check UK market is growing rapidly and VettingGateway’s Social Media Checks provide an automated way of scanning the digital footprint of an individual to highlight content linked with violence, extremism, hate speech, profanity, nudity and negative sentiment. Many companies have started using this tool not only on new hires as part of the background checking process but also on existing employees. The scan is automated and will look at the entire history of an individual’s social media profiles, making it a feasible option where manual checks fail. In addition, VettingGateway’s Social Media Checks have compliance built in so you can be sure consent is obtained from the start.

To find out more about how VettingGateway’s Social Media Checks can help you modernise your hiring practices and protect your brand reputation, contact us here.

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