Yes, You Can and Should Use Social Media To Investigate Applicants

by | Business Law

The use of social media in regards to employee candidates and company use is debated amongst experts. One debate is advocating for social media being used as a screening for employees while another explains that social media is a great marketing and branding tool. Specifically, the argument for social media as a screen for employee hiring has its pros and cons. TalentWise, a service that offers the U.S. and Canada background checks, onboarding, testing and other hiring solutions encourage the use of social media for employment purposes. Social media is a cheap and effective way to gather raw information about a potential employee, explains TalentWise. However, there are certain precautions that have to be taken if an employer chooses this approach, warns an employment attorney. These precautions are broken down into Five steps:

  • First, the candidates must be notified that their social media profiles will be checked;
  • Second, be wary of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act by using information found on a social profile against the candidate without any disclosure of your search or results;
  • Third, avoid being charged with discrimination by a candidate who felt they were not selected based on race, gender or another image disclosed online;
  • Fourth, be extremely specific on candidates not chosen when using social media as a method of research;
  •  Fifth, keep in mind that social media profiles are not always accurate and can be hacked, thus make sure the research is extensive and is not conclusive from one social media profile.

With millions of people using social media, social media can be a great method for research on candidates or for marketing purposes provided you do so with care.