Safely Using Social Media When Screening Applicants

20 Jul

Human Resources Screening Applicants Using Social MediaThe wealth of information freely offered on social media websites can seem like an attractive human resource management solution, when companies are looking to screen job applicants. Some employers are even using the sites to conduct ongoing screening of current workers.

While sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn can be invaluable when recruiting potential employees and networking with colleagues, using them to find out private details about a new hire can create legal problems.

Lester Rosen, founder of the background screening firm Employment Screening Resources, says that social media sites can provide insight on an applicant’s thought processes, hobbies and interests. However, the sites can also give information that hiring managers cannot legally use in their decision, such as race, sexual orientation, religion and more, he says.

One way to avoid stumbling across information that could inadvertently influence a hiring decision is to have someone else in the organization look at the applicant’s web page. Then that person can pass on only the details that are legally relevant to the hiring manager.  To make this process more formal you may want to record these unwritten rules and add this action to your company’s social media policy.

Do you have any tips for safely using social media in the screening process?

Comments are closed.