It’s easier than ever to type a potential hire’s name into Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram and instantly find a wealth of information about them- especially if they haven’t recently updated their privacy settings. Conversely, social media can be a wonderful source of information on a potential hire and, in some cases, especially in sales and marketing, is a primary driver in considering the right person for a position.
Recruiting Using Social Media
Many employers now use social media as a tool for recruiting candidates through publishing job openings, advertising the company culture, and scouting for individuals who would fit the company’s needs. Many websites are dedicated to job searching, in particular the professional social network LinkedIn, which allows members to post their resumes and professional achievements. LinkedIn offers a suite of tools to recruiters looking to filter through candidates and reach out to qualified ones to encourage them to apply. Many other websites have sprung up offering job seekers and searchers various other tools to identify the ideal candidate.
Once you post your job on social media, you have officially placed an advertisement of the position, therefore it must include language advising that your company is an equal employment opportunity employer and a notice if your company employs affirmative action. Copies of these postings also need to be retained by your businesses to document your hiring process.
Screening Using Social Media
Social media can also be used to screen candidates and get a sense of their background and personality before making an offer to a specific individual. If you want to consider a social media review for each job candidate, make it a part of your company’s hiring process and be consistent about checking the same platforms for each individual.
However, this review should only consider information which the applicant makes public. Businesses should never ask for an applicant’s username or requesting their passwords. Further, it’s a good practice to use the information found on the applicant’s social media later in the hiring process, generally after a formal interview of the candidate has been conducted.
Note, if your hiring decision is changed based on information found on social media, particularly if it’s negatively impacted, be sure to document the page where you found the information and record the reason for your decision. You may also choose to give the candidate a chance to respond to any problematic content you find, particularly if it’s not something posted by the individual themselves.
Even if you’re considering a candidate based on their social media profile, be sure not to change your hiring decisions based on information you may find there that wouldn’t otherwise come out during the recruiting process such as sexual orientation, pregnancy, religious affiliation, etc.
The team at Chase Law Group, P.C. can advise you on the full hiring and employment process from crafting the job posting to designing the interview process in compliance with federal and California state laws. We can also help you with employment agreements and the on-boarding process. Give us a call at (310) 545-7700 to set up a consultation.