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08.03.2016 : News

Social Networks: The Pandora’s Box of Pre-employment Screening

At first blush, social networking sites seem like something too good to be true for hiring managers seeking unvarnished insights into job applicants. After all, resumes can be done professionally and interviewing skills can be honed by practice and experience. Making a good first impression is an acquired skill in the art and science of building a career; however it is usually not a good indication of a candidate’s true personality.

Every seasoned manager understands the contrast between the person they hired and the employee they came to know over time. Two different people, not necessarily in a negative way, but the disparities are indicative of the gap between the initial perception and the longer-term reality.

Along come things like Facebook and Twitter and the phenomenon of “social networking”. Here are people presenting themselves in a social context, more relaxed and open, providing more genuine insights into who they really are. What hiring manager can resist the impulse to check out job applicants with this wonderful new tool?

Some companies see this as an opportunity to reduce spending on conventional pre-employment screening, opting instead to rely on Google searches and the treasure trove of these new social networking sites to screen job candidates. Most are struggling to determine how to use these new tools in their hiring process.

Human Resource experts estimate that 30 to 40 percent of recruiters and internal HR professionals research job candidates on the web. A recent Careerbuilder.com survey found that 45 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites and, of those, 35 percent found information that caused them to drop candidates from consideration.

Those in the second camp are prudent. The use of social networking sites for pre-employment screening is fast becoming a minefield of legal dilemmas. People have sued companies that refused to hire them because of what appeared on their Twitter or Facebook pages. Human resource experts are cautioning companies to proceed carefully and construct policies and procedures governing the use of social networking sites for the hiring process.

As companies come to grips with using social networks for pre-employment screening, some emerging guidelines can help.

  • Remember Facebook and other social network platforms are informal and intended for informal audiences.
  • Establish clear policies and procedures for how and when your company will use social networking sites in the recruitment and hiring process. Ensure that candidates are informed about these policies.
  • Use what you learn on social networking sites to check the “social fit” of candidates, not their basic qualifications.
  • Consider allowing candidates a chance at rebutting what you learn. Profiles on social networking may be placed by so called “spammers”, people with a grudge against the candidate, and not necessarily by the candidate themselves.
  • Use an outside company to complete the research to ensure third-party objectivity and compliant with Human Rights legislation.
  • Comments on a social networking sites by anyone other than the candidate may be a privacy violation and can be grounds for litigation.

Now that the Pandora’s Box of social networking sites has been opened it is hard to imagine employers not using it as a tool but, as with all tools, the benefit and the danger, all depend on how well and wisely it is used.

By Daniel Fallows

 

Hr manager reading report

31.03.2021 : News

What does look bad on a background check?

Tips to undergo a background check   If you have just applied for a new position, chances are your potential future employer will ask you to undergo a background check as part of the hiring process. If this is your first background check, the process may seem intimidating and it is only natural to ask yourself what might be detrimental to your application or what might tilt the odds in… Lire la suite »

mental health in the workplace book

18.02.2021 : News

Join our webinar – Mental Health Issues in the Work Place

Stop Hiding and Start Living, a mental health focused Webinar by Dr. Bill Howatt on February 25, 2021   Mintz Global Screening is proud to announce its exciting collaboration with Dr. Bill Howatt, Ph.D., Ed.D, one of Canada’s top experts in mental health issues in the workplace and has more than 30 years of experience in the field of mental health, addiction, and HR consulting. On February 25, 2021, meet us online for a much-needed talk.  … Lire la suite »

Remote recruitment tool

30.06.2020 : News

Why You Should Establish a Remote Recruitment Procedure in 2020

Remote recruitment: a new reality The recent COVID-19 crisis has forced many companies to revisit their recruitment procedures. As remote working has become mandatory or strongly recommended in some countries or regions, they have had to recruit new candidates remotely in order to comply with government directives. However, even after government measures have been lifted, companies will still benefit from remote recruitment. In this article, find out why your company… Lire la suite »