Dresser & Associates

Social Media & HR – Recruiting and Hiring

This is the final article of a three part blog series focusing on social media and human resources that will cover the subtopics of employee conduct, social media policies, and recruiting.

Dresser & Associates recently hosted a webinar with guest speaker Alyssa Morris from Constangy, Brooks & Smith, an employment and labor law firm. Presenting on the topic of “Off-Duty Conduct and Social Media”, Alyssa shared her knowledge and advice on how to prepare for the inevitable encounter with social media in the workplace.

Social media and the hiring process is a subject that fortunately has a bright side! Here is an HR professional’s chance to see that social media is not all evil. The trick to using social media to recruit and hire is to do it appropriately and lawfully.

One of the hottest topics in social media and recruiting is the legality of applicant searches. By searching for, and viewing, applicants on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the recruiter is putting the organization at risk for potential legal liabilities. A harmless profile view can unintentionally provide information about an individual’s race, religion, sexuality, or credit history. Even if no information is used from the search, the risk of discrimination, invasion of privacy, or violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act is present. Employment and Labor Law Attorney Alyssa Morris advises that, “if you can’t ask the applicant for the information during the job interview, you can’t obtain it from another source.”

Taking a proactive approach to avoiding these violations, employers should consider:

  • Developing a uniform policy that the organization will or will not use social media searches in the recruiting process
  • Standardizing the methodology used to find information regarding applicants
  • Designating a “non-decision maker” to conduct searches lawfully
  • Always being consistent!

Here’s the bright side – social media sites such as LinkedIn can provide a wealth of additional information about a potential employee. It is also an extremely helpful tool for recruiters to post job opportunities or seek out qualified talent. Professional social networking sites are revolutionary to the hiring process – and they’re here to stay.

The bottom line when it comes to social media and human resources? Embrace and adapt, or fall back.

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Dresser and Associates

Posted in Human Resources, Recruiting | Comments Off on Social Media & HR – Recruiting and Hiring

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