Recruiting Toolbelt: Social Media

In a world where ninety percent (90%) of businesses use social media, the temptation to incorporate the wealth of knowledge available through social media during the recruitment process is growing in popularity. With forty-three percent (43%) of employers actively using social media to screen candidates, the risks of violating a potential employee’s rights increase significantly. This can be concerning as thirty-six percent (36%) of organizations have disqualified candidates based on the collection of data through social media.

The potential risks of screening candidates through social media include:

  • invasion of privacy;
  • violation of the Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”) and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”);
  • disparate impact/treatment;
  • exposure of protected status, i.e., race/color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity/transgender status and martial status/parental status;
  • exposure of protected activities/complaints i.e., discrimination/harassment, NLRA/NLRB union activities, common law “Whistle Blowing”, work comp history, political affiliation, military status and protected leaves;
  • bankruptcy/credit difficulties; and/or
  • criminal convictions.

So, is there a benefit to using social media for recruiting purposes? The answer is, yes. The one benefit to using social media when sourcing applicants is the avoidance of negligent hiring. With that being said, in order to eliminate the potential risks, businesses should consider the following questions:

  • Deviation IS Discrimination – Is management checking on each applicant through social media equally?
  • Does the business’ policies allow/prohibit managers from gathering their own information?
  • Does the business have a process in place to obtain the applicant’s consent to gather information from social media?

By providing authorization to social media applicant checks on your company’s application, you secure your right as an employer to safely search social media as a part of an applicant’s pre-employment verification.

It is important to note that social media applicant checks may not be easily detectable until you are challenged.

Creative Business Solutions (“CBS”) specializes in ensuring each of our valued clients is in compliance with all laws and regulations applicable to their respective businesses, including proper recruitment strategies and processes. Please call us today and we will be pleased to assist you with any HR compliance issue you may be experiencing.

Source: https://handouts-live.s3.amazonaws.com/9c6edf168c704d689764adcfe52a64f7?sessionId=1172506386573476362&participantId=2700082

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