SHOULD SOCIAL MEDIA BE USED TO SCREEN JOB APPLICANTS?
Finding a great fit for an open position is critical to the organization, yet challenging. The question about how and when to use social media has gained momentum over the past decade, but there is not one right answer. In fact, the opinions of HR and legal professionals vary, from “No, don’t do it” to “Yes, you should do it, but cautiously.” If you are considering checking the social media sites of your applicant pool, please consult with your HR team first for guidance. In the meantime, here are a few things to consider*:
- Only do a search of social media sites at later phases of the selection process, for example after the interviews, at the conditional offer and prior to the final offer.
- Be consistent. For example, check social media sites of all people you interviewed or all of your finalists, not just some.
- Never ask an applicant for their password to a social media site and never ask them to login during the interview. If you are going to view any social media information, it should only be that which is public, not private.
- Confirm that the social media site you are viewing and all contents of the site are in fact owned/managed by the applicant. Consider that there are multiple people with the same name and that social media sites can be hacked.
- Consider only information posted by the applicant themselves, not by others.
- Know that any information you use to make a hiring decision must be job-related.
- If you find information that impacts your decision (positive or negative), print the page and maintain the documentation.
*Tips were compiled from Society for Human Resource Management, HR Magazine and shrm.org.