In today’s multi-media driven world, information can be gathered about potential candidates with only limited effort.  Whether through social networking sites or an employment screening, employers can gather a breadth of information.  The concern, of course, is how this information is disseminated and used.

The FCRA has strict rules over gathering information for the purposes of a background check.  Every state has its own laws in place regarding what can and cannot be used in an employment screening process.  Candidates must sign a release for a company to conduct a criminal background check or to gather employment verification information.  Some would argue that the information gathered may not be relevant to the job at hand, thus creating a question about its validity in an employment decision.  The same goes for information received from looking at a person’s social networking sites.  Many companies only look for the negatives and utilize these against a candidate, rather than finding the positives that can help to bolster a candidate towards the top of the pool.

There are a few things to keep in mind as companies go through a hiring process.  First, know your state laws surrounding job applications and background checks.  A uniform application may not be suitable for every state, so make sure it fits applicable state laws and complies with FCRA regulations.  Second, make sure interview questions are standard for all applicants so that an equal opportunity is created for all potential employees.  Lastly, make sure applicants understand the company’s specific requirements for background checks, including social media. 

The one sure way to alleviate concern over the use of information gathered through an employment screening process is to utilize a company like PeopleG2 that specializes in background checks.  A reputable company will know the applicable laws for applicants from all 50 states, and will ensure information reported is factual and correct.  Utilizing PeopleG2 provides companies with confidence that their background check process is in line with FCRA regulations, and provides candidates with a fair opportunity across the board.

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