For many employers and HR workers, it’s just too tempting. How can you not take a peek at a job candidate’s social media feeds, especially if you’re hiring this person for an important or sensitive position? Up to 70 percent of companies are now using applicant social media accounts to assist with, and it’s no secret why. Looking at someone’s social media account offers a window into their world. Often, these accounts can tip us off to hidden strengths and potential problems before they enter the workplace.
You may be surprised to learn, however, that social media screening of employees can get your business into a lot of trouble. If you do not follow consistent social media screening guidelines, you could be accused of violating job candidates’ privacy or even discriminating against them.
For many employers, the benefits of social media screening outweigh the potential liabilities, but only if you follow the law. The best way to handle employment screening is to leave it to the professionals at KRESS. If you want to have a look at candidate’s social platforms yourself, though, here are five tips to remain compliant and get the most out of social media screening:
- Look for red flags.
People often let their true selves shine through in their social media posts. Often, this can showcase the best of a person. It can also highlight their worst impulses, however. Make sure that there are no red flags that could prove damaging to your business, especially anything related to illegal activities or discrimination.
- Follow the law.
Some states and municipalities have their own rules regarding social media screening and employment screening. It’s important to be aware of any applicable laws before you begin screening social media accounts to ensure that you don’t do anything illegal. If you have any questions about the laws surrounding your job candidates, contact KRESS immediately.
- Always be consistent.
If you want to make social media screening a part of your hiring process, then it’s very important that all applicants are screened with identical parameters and requirements. Never single anyone out for more stringent or more relaxed social screening; this can lead to claims of discrimination. Outline a specific plan for social screening to be applied to all job candidates and stick to it.
- Get permission first.
Job candidates don’t appreciate secrecy when it comes to employment screening. If you institute a social screening policy, make sure that candidates are informed of the process and give them the opportunity to sign off on the process or decline. This will help keep you in compliance with the law and avoid privacy concerns.
- Never ignore the FCRA.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is of critical importance to every aspect of employment screening. Know it by heart. Remember always that it is not legal to make hiring decisions based upon age, race, religion, or cultural differences.
With these tips in mind, social media can become a powerful recruiting tool for your business. The people who follow your company’s social media accounts just might make for ideal employees! If you’d like to know more about social media and employment screening, call us now at 888-636-3693 to speak to one of our employment experts at KRESS. We help clients across the Houston area make the right hire every time.
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