Better Research through Social Media
As the saying goes, what happens on social media stays on social media. But that doesn’t mean anyone has the right to dig through someone else’s personal history if they’re being considered for a job. This task should be left to a company’s HR department or their hiring managers.
It’s true that social media can be extremely revealing when it comes to finding out more about an applicant than they would normally divulge during an interview. However, to lessen any liability, it’s best to let a dedicated person or department perform this type of research. Why? Because they will usually know the legalities of navigating a candidate’s social media as well as treating each search consistently when gathering information they consider relevant to the hiring process.
An article on Society for Human Resource Management’s website shrm.org titled, Minimize Potential Liability with Social Media, gets into the nitty-gritty of this, but also sheds light on the importance of checking an applicant’s social media. For example, if an applicant posts text, photos, or videos that the company deems inappropriate (e.g., threatening, racist, crude, offensive, unprofessional, etc.), then the company would have a genuine reason not to hire him or her.
There are other strategies recommended in the online article such as: