Survey Says: Are Facebook Profiles Fair Game for Employers?
March 27, 2013
Earlier this month, we released our official 2013 Employment Background Screening Trends Survey report. The report includes findings from nearly 1,000 HR professionals in various industries across the United States, who responded to our survey on employee background checks at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.
Among this year’s key findings was whether employers are really consulting social media profiles as part of the pre-employment background screening process and if not, why?
Given the business world’s enthusiastic embrace of social media and social networking sites, it was surprising to see that 64% of respondents said they never review social networking websites as part of their background screening process. In fact, this year’s percentage was even higher than last year’s (52%). Only 7% of respondents this year said that they always consult social sites—down from 9% in last year’s survey.
These results once again show how divided employers continue to be when it comes to social media as a source of background information. The findings also again refute the common perception that all employers spend their time pouring over the online activities of workers and potential new hires.
Tips for Those That Conduct Social Media Background Checks
- Develop a social media policy
- Be transparent with your candidates and let them know what you are looking for
- If you use a third-party to conduct this search, you might follow proper Fair Credit Reporting Act procedures
- Assign the responsibility of making an adverse hiring decision to someone other than the person who has conducted the search
Download the entire 2013 Trends Survey Here