HR Advisory – Job Applicants and Social Media

If you’re ignoring social media, you’re denying an increasingly common recruitment tactic While there can be benefits to screening the internet for public information about a job candidate, be aware of the many risks associated with this new-age method.

How to use social media effectively for applicant screening:

  1. Create a social media screening policy
  2. Prepare screening questions for the position
  3. Conduct the screening
  4. Prepare and provide a report to the hiring manager
  5. Retain the documentation

How to help minimize risk through social media screenings:

  1. If you’re screening, screen everyone. Don’t just review one applicant or certain types of applicants.
  2. Remember a decision should be made based on skill and experience above everything else.
  3. Conduct in-person interviews first before social media screenings.
  4. Make sure the screener is removed from the hiring process to ensure unbiased research.
  5. If you use a third party to conduct screenings, be aware of laws, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, that may require you to get authorization, provide notices or make certain disclosures.
  6. Allow applicants to explain any information you’ve found online that you find damaging.
  7. Managers should be forbidden from considering protected classes when making an employment decision.
  8. Managers must keep notes to demonstrate a hiring decision was based on legitimate business reasons.
  9. Follow the laws relating to retaining records during the application process.
  10. Ensure your hiring manager (and anyone involved in the recruitment process) is aware of the law prohibiting employers from requesting applicants to disclose personal social media.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out at any time.

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