Many employers want to make sure that before they hire a potential employee, they know exactly what they’re getting.  And with so much personal information available on public networks, it is not very difficult to find out personal details on applicants whom you are considering for your open positions.  So is it a good idea to research a candidate on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn before making an offer?  TalentWoo recommends that you approach the practice with care due to the legal implications of possible employment discrimination.  You must remember three things:

1.  It is illegal to discriminate against against someone based on age, race, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, etc.  Yet the first thing you will see on a job applicant’s Info Tab on Facebook is precisely:  gender, birth date, relationship status, religion, etc.  Employers must have safeguards in place to make sure that they can prove this information was not used in the hiring decision.

2.  Equal consideration for all job applicants means that all social media background investigations must be conducted  in the exact same manner.  A consistent process must first be defined, then documented, and finally enforced or employers risk being accused of discriminatory practices.

3.  Documentation, or lack of it, is usually what wins or loses discrimination law suits.  Can your organization legitimately document for every person rejected, the exact reason why?  If it documented that information on their private social media network was the reason for rejection, or even if NO reason is given (but it is known that social media networks were consulted), then the employer faces an uphill battle in court.

For more information on guidelines to social media background checks, please visit this blog written by Michael Nader of national labor and employment law firm Ogletree Deakin.

TalentWoo offers employers a fool-proof method of ranking and scoring applicants according to the core competencies most essential for the job.  The online applicant tracking system is OFCCP compliant, allows for 100% candidate follow-up, and provides objective decision-making tools and reporting that can save employers hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines from illegal hiring practices.  Contact us today to see how our solution can help you make the right hire, right now.