Survey Says…”Be Cautious Using Social Media For Employee Screening.”

As a follow-up to the post yesterday about employers requesting Facebook passwords from job applicants; I was forwarded a report by titled “Threading the Needle: Employment Screening in an Age of Increased Litigation and Legislation.”  

I don’t usually pimp stuff, but this was pretty well done and informative.  And don’t be like “doesn’t happen here bud.”  It might not; “to the best of you knowledge,” but the disengaged staffing or search person may just create a situation where counsel will have you repeating that phrase.  Jus sayin.

The  new, 20-page trends survey report in which more than 650 HR professional took part  has some pretty interesting findings in it related to attitudes/actions around social networking in a time of rapidly evolving employment laws, increased EEOC enforcement and escalating litigation, including an explosion of “failure to hire” lawsuits.  Go here to go directly to the report or you can also go to the EmployeeScreenIQ and you’ll see information in the IQ Blog if you’d like to check out their stuff & things… and they do have some pretty cool stuff.

Key Findings Re: Social Networking Websites from EmployeeScreeniQ:

  • Employers are split regarding their use of social networking websites as part of background screening process. 48% of respondents consult these sites as part of their screening process (only 9% say they always consult this sites), while 52% say they never do.
  • These results show how divided employers are when it comes to this relatively new source of background information.
  • The findings also refute a somewhat common perception that all employers spend their time poring over the online activities of workers and potential new hires.
  • While the instant gratification of a Google search is undeniable, employers who answer “never” may be taking into account the inherent risk of uncovering “protected class” information that could lead to future legal problems if the candidate is not selected.
  • Age, race, and religious affiliation are all characteristics that are readily available in social media sources. And then there is the issue of accuracy of the data, which is always at issue with the self-generated content that prevails on social networking sites.
  • Despite the potential they might hold, social networking websites are not yet widely accepted as a trusted background-checking resource.
  • We anticipate that the trend of those who utilize these sites as a screening tool will only increase in the coming years. It will be interesting to see whether the percentage of those who regularly use these sites increases in future surveys.

Source for the content here:  Jackie Jusko.  Jackie can be contacted via email at


Posted on March 21, 2012, in Staffing & Talent Acquisition and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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