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In a time when companies are facing litigation for their use of social media in hiring decisions, a recent study shows that 51 percent of employers have used social media sites to find content that has made them decide not to make a hire.  There, are however, those employers that have found good content that has made them WANT to make a hire.


The subject of social media in the hiring process has come under a lot of scrutiny in the last couple of years.  There are so many negatives attached to the use of information found on social media, because people do not use the information appropriately when going through a recruitment or hiring process.  For things that are found on social media, some experts advise to not just make a hiring decision based on that but perhaps make room for explanation in an interview. 

According to a national employment law firm, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, it’s best to wait until after you have met the candidate face to face to run a social media screening.  If you do it prior to that interview, there is no context of the actual person when compared to what is found via social media.

The best way for a company to do social media searches is through a CRA like PeopleG2.  Our social media search presents both positive and negative information found on prospective employees so that it’s not just a search to draw out the bad.  When conducted properly and consistently, social media screening can provide human resources and risk management professionals with additional levels of employment risk management — as well as meaningful assurance on other types of human capital decisions and transactions; e.g., promotions, restructurings, key employee due diligence in acquisitions or capital investments and so on.

There’s a lot to be learned from social media about applicants, and it certainly is a widely used tool.  But as the study shows that statistically more companies are using them, that also is a door for possible litigation if not conducted and used appropriately.  It’s always best for any type of background check being conducted for employment purposes to be completed by a company that has a true understanding of the “in’s and out’s” of employment regulations.