Recruiting, Uncategorized

The Prevalence and the Practice of Social Media Screening—The Dos and Don’ts

Yesterday’s Advisor shared Jason Morris’s earned and not-so-earned (i.e., diploma mill) degrees. Today, Morris, who is president of EmployeeScreenIQ of Cleveland, Ohio, reveals his tips for social media screening.

Does your organization conduct online media searches as a means of screening candidates in the hiring process? According to EmployeeScreenIQ’s Survey, about 63% of organizations do not; about 30% do the searches internally; and about 7.5% use a third party.

The companies that do conduct such searches report searching the following sites:



Search Engine














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Legal Considerations

Morris points out four main legal concerns when dealing with social media screening of candidates:

  • Privacy. Employees and job applicants expect and are entitled to a reasonable level of privacy.
  • Discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and state laws prohibit employers from making hiring decisions based on protected class information.
  • Accuracy. The Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) requires maximum possible accuracy in background checks. If you can’t prove something, you shouldn’t use it.
  • Negligent Hiring. What information do you have the responsibility of knowing before you hire a candidate?

If you are going to use social media screening, be sure to evaluate these 7 dos and don’ts, says Morris:

  • Do designate a project owner.
  • Don’t ask candidates for passwords.
  • Do consider FCRA implications.
  • Don’t believe everything you read and see online.
  • Do beware of TMI (too much information).
  • Don’t use social media inconsistently.
  • Do create a written policy for using social media in the background-screening process.

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