The process of manually sifting through thousands of posts is incredibly time consuming for anyone. But for an algorithm, it takes only a second. And if you work in HR, that algorithm could be a godsend.
Forty-three percent of companies use social media to screen job candidates, and more than one-third of organizations said they have disqualified a candidate because of information they found through an online search, according to a 2016 Society for Human Resource Management study.
Los Angeles-based Fama Technologies has software that automates social media and web analysis to help companies make hiring decisions. The company uses artificial intelligence to pick up on any "red flags" that exist within a person's online persona.
Fama launched in January 2015 and it is now working with 45 firms including government contractors, hospitals, financial services and child care companies, according to Mones. Fama recently partnered with First Advantage, one of the world's largest background screening firms.
Fama CEO and co-founder Ben Mones said that employers aren't that interested in recreational vices like alcohol use, but instead are focused on keeping bullies, misogynists and bigots out of their workplace.
The algorithm searches public posts, including photos and videos, and the candidate is informed that they are being screened.
"Employers are looking for folks who don't think there is anything wrong with what they are saying," Mones said. "Who don't think that misogynistic comment is wrong."
Mones warned that companies who vet candidate's social media on their own could be breaking the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"One of the big advantages of using Fama is that companies are able to zero in on only the content that is deemed critical to making the decision," Mones said. If an HR manager is searching through someone's Facebook page and notices that a candidate is pregnant or a certain religion, there may be unconscious biases made against that candidate.
"They end up seeing stuff that they shouldn't be seeing," Mones said.
He also emphasized that Fama doesn't provide specific recommendations. It just gives hiring managers links to the candidate's posts.
Fama's software sells for a subscription ranging from $15,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year depending on the number of inquiries, Mones said.
The company raised $1.7 million and started in the Amplify.LA accelerator. Investors include Miramar Ventures, Double M Partners and Wavemaker Partners.
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