Is private really private? If an employer has a right, when do the risks outweigh the benefits? What are an employer’s rights and responsibilities if social media or textual harassment falls into the workplace?
As an employer you are interested in finding out about the prospective applicant? Do they have skeletons in their closet?
Gathering information from social media to use in the hiring process can help employers weed out potential problem employees, as well as reinforce a good applicant’s potential for success. Recent studies suggest that nearly 70% of employers have rejected candidates based upon information found online. Such a practice, is not risk-free. Facebook has lowered labor turn over in companies. Previously companies relied on information provided by the candidates for employment and the impressions received during the interview process
Given the lack of guidance on this issue, employers should tread carefully in this area. Consider the consequences of such practices. From a business perspective, while reviewing or requiring access to “private” social media sites might be justified by a legitimate business reason, it might also be viewed as “snooping” and could limit an applicant pool or lead to decreased employee morale if employees thought big brother was watching all the time.
Many people have found themselves in trouble for accessing private information without permission from the owners of the information. Whereas accessing information can be easy for companies and employers the effects can be detrimental.
· Define how and why you should evaluate an applicant’s online presence. Account for such things as accuracy of information presented, verifiability, and how the information is obtained;
· Consider designating a neutral party, instead of the decision-maker, to conduct the search and filter out protected status information. (Recommend using an HR Consultant) Note that retaining third-party vendors to review information likely triggers the procedural and notice requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act;
· Maintain a record of how information was gathered via the Internet or social media and what information was gathered; and
· Train employees responsible for implementing this process.
Do you need help recruiting or reviewing social media profiles? Contact us.