Social Media and the Risks of Filtering Applicants
The idea of social networking evokes feelings of both fear and excitement in the minds of employers, and it should; this phenomenon is changing the way companies across the globe do business. It not only helps your company connect with its clients, it’s also a valuable resource for drawing in potential employees and recruiting the right candidates for jobs. However, popular social networking sites can present a hazard to your company and its reputation depending on how you use them.
Properly Filtering Applicants
The practice of using social networking sites to further research potential temporary employees and weed out candidates is risky. Not only does it cause you to dabble in issues of legality, but it also could place you in thorny situations when it comes to personal differences you become aware of via social networking tools.
A 2013 study conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder.com revealed that 39 percent of employers are already using social networking sites to screen job candidates. The most obvious problem with this practice is how difficult it is to draw lines between appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
According to the Harris Interactive study, more than half the employers interviewed said provocative photos on a social networking site were the largest contributing factor when a potential employee was not hired. But who gets to define what constitutes provocative, and does the candidate have the right to find out this is the reason he or she was not hired?
By using social networking sites as a filtering tool, you’re exposing yourself to potential lawsuits. Many users post personal information, such as their religion and age. Even if you decide not to hire them for legitimate reasons, such as educational qualifications, the candidate could accuse you of illegally basing the decision not to hire them on information obtained from their social networking site.
Sink or Swim
If your staffing organization has jumped into the murky waters of social media, you’ve likely encountered complications like properly screening applicants (mentioned above), lack of management control, improper workplace use or handling negative reviews.
In a recent Assurance University webinar, we took a deeper dive with social media and labor and employment law expert Charles Krugel. Watch the webinar recording now!
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