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Using Social Media for Employment Background Checks

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Using Social Media for Employment Background Checks

  1. 1. Is it legal to use Facebook or other forms of social media to conduct background checks on potential new hires? The answer is yes, but if you use inappropriate information, you could be violating the law. According to CareerBuilder.com, employers report the following benefits outweigh the legal risks: 34% 31% 23% 23% found people with great communication skills found a link between the applicant and the organization culture saw good professional resources from the candidate thought the candidate was creative We recommend you implement the following as a background check policy to ensure legal compliance: Define the background check procedure and require written acknowledgement by staff Identify five-ten conducts that would cause alarm if seen on a candidate’s profile Identify five positive attributes such as blog is well written and related to professional interests, demonstrates creativity or illustrates good use of professional skills and networks Identify an independent researcher someone separate from the recruitment process - to gather social media information to ensure hiring personnel have no access to protected information Provide the researcher with a checklist to document both offensive and favorable findings Researcher should print or copy offending material and give appropriate material to the hiring manager If you decide not to hire a candidate based on your findings, present them with the findings along with the basis for concern and give them a chance to explain. Hiring a background screening company represents another alternative than using social media to conduct background checks. While social networks represent a low cost or free tool, the legal risks may cost considerably if done incorrectly. FOLLOW US! copyright 2013

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