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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

 

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07.02.2020 : News

Which companies should conduct driving record checks in Canada?

Many companies in Canada offer employment in professions that involve driving a motor vehicle. These jobs can sometimes entail long hours on the road away from home or can be more local endeavours. For these Canadian companies, meticulous screening practices are often essential to ensure the safety of their clients and employees alike. This is especially true when it comes to checking a potential employee’s driving record since one bad… Lire la suite »

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13.11.2019 : News

Why is obtaining a driving record mandatory for employers in the road transport sector?

A driving record is a document issued by the authorities of a territory that contains several pieces of information about a motor vehicle driver, such as their competence and history of Highway Safety Code violations. This is particularly mandatory for employers in the road transport sector who are looking to hire new employees. Find out why. A candidate’s driving record indicates whether they possess the skills required for a job… Lire la suite »

03.10.2019 : News

Why obtain a new employee’s job references?

There is a risk involved every time you hire a new employee. The new hire could, of course, prove to be the perfect employee, making a huge difference in your company… but they could also turn out to be a bad hire that will cost you time and money. Find out how you can obtain job references for a potential employee to help you make the best hiring decisions possible…. Lire la suite »