Employers and prospective employees are using social media more and more when recruiting or looking for employment, respectively. According to a recent survey, 70% of employers are now using social media. This represents a significant increase from the 22% who did so 10 years ago.

For the employer, it is a risk versus reward analysis. The reward is avoiding a potentially bad hire and the tremendous costs associated with such. However, there are a few risks that employers should keep in mind if they choose this route. Some of those risks include:

  • Coming across protected classes of information and then using that information to make a hiring decision, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Even the appearance of a decision not to hire someone based on a negative impression related to race, gender, religion, disability, or other protected classes could subject them to a discrimination lawsuit.
  • Increasing the chances of coming across false positives or negatives. Employers run the risk of misidentifying someone or missing someone all together because of these inaccuracies.
  • Increasing risks of violating the applicant’s right to privacy. It should be noted that this does not apply if the applicant’s social media settings are set to public.

These concerns should be considered carefully in order to decide if this type of investigation is worth the effort and risk. Companies are encouraged to discuss these searches with their legal counsel and consider outsourcing this process to stay away from potential discrimination claims.

About Hire Image
Hire Image, LLC is a background check company with offices in Rhode Island, Florida, Minnesota, and Washington. We are specialists in the fields of employment background checks, tenant background checks, employment background investigations and employment verification, drug screening tests, and international background checks.

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