April 4, 2011

He’s a great candidate, but…

Social Media

Social Media and Recruitment

Social networking recruitment has become the “must do” sourcing activity across all of HR. Whether it’s using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – the pressure to use these channels is greater now than ever. And without knowing it, recruiters and talent evaluators are falling into some significant legal traps.

Using social networks is an excellent way to source potential employees. The trouble comes when we use personal information, photos or content found on a candidate’s profile to disqualify him or her for positions.

When you visit a potential candidate’s social networking page you may be privy to photos, religious beliefs, personal information about life events, personal information about drinking or drug use, and poor communication skills or lewd comments made to others. And once you learn any of these things about a candidate, you can’t unlearn it.

If a candidate suspects that you have disqualified him or her based on any of this information, you are opening up your organization to a discrimination lawsuit. How do you prevent this? Recruiters cannot use information from social networking sites for evaluating candidates. Decision makers cannot eliminate candidates based on what they see on their social media profiles. Candidates must receive thorough explanations as to why they are being eliminated; explanations should be recorded.

An additional resource on this topic is available here:

Social Media + Legal Reality & Perspective = Caution for Recruiters