Is a Candidate’s Profile Picture Worth a Thousand Words?

Nick Fishman

Today’s employers are faced with a growing dilemma: whether or not to use social media to screen job candidates. The information you find on someone’s social media profile has the potential to make a profound impact on your hiring decision-whether it’s negative or positive. If you’re like many employers, you might be conflicted on whether to use these tools for background screening purposes. Angela, Nick and Jason discuss the potential risks and legal ramifications of social media screening.

This episode of the Quick Takes Series covers the possible risks of using social media in the background screening process as well as steps to take if you DO want to use social media in the hiring process.

So what’s against employers using social media for background checks?

  • Angela shares concerns from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding employer’s misuse of the information they might find on social media.
  • Jason points out that hiring managers have no way of verifying if the information found on social media truly belongs to their candidate.
  • The information employers come across on social media might include protected class information (including but not limited to race, national origin, religion), as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Despite the hazards related to social media screening, there are potential benefits for employers as well.

For employers who want to use social media, our expert panelists offer valuable advice to ensure that companies won’t run into legal trouble:

  • Does your company have a policy in place or a consistent hiring practice when it comes to social media?
  • Employers should have trained personnel, separate from the hiring manager, who can weed out possible discriminatory information
  • Will the candidate have a positive experience with your company if you utilize social media screening?

The bottom line for employers?

In the words of Nick Fishman, be careful.

Related EmployeeScreenIQ Content:

Quick Takes is a video series blending together bits of experience and expertise from EmployeeScreenIQ’s background screening experts. With a newsroom feel, discussions surround the latest issues in the background screening industry. All of the videos were filmed unscripted-giving you the opportunity to hear genuine responses from the professionals. Topics range from social media background checks to conducting a thorough criminal records search. We’re releasing a new video every month, so stay tuned.

 

 

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
Nick Fishman
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