Social Screening: Verification of Qualifications & Risks

Candidate Screening > Checking Qualifications

In this series of posts, we’ve uncovered some of the best ways for employers to utilize social media profiles to screen candidates. The information they share on their public social profiles is a good way to gauge the culture fit you’re placing them for, and it’s a great reference for determining how honest they were on their resumes when it comes to previous experience. However, solely using social media profiles to make or break the decision to hire someone is a risky process that should be avoided. In this article, we’ll explore how to screen candidates efficiently without incurring liability. To protect your hiring practices and beyond, equip your agency with a Staffing EPLI policy.

Qualification checks.

Chances are, your candidates filled out their current and previous work history on their social media profiles. Examine their work histories and see if they match up with their resume. Also, refer to language spoken (if its applicable for the position you’re placing them for), birth date, and location. Many of these basic pieces of information can play a large role in your client’s needs, so use social media to verify.

The risks of using social media screening.

While Facebook and other social media platforms allow some insight into the person’s character, interests and background, it shouldn’t be used as a sole reason to hire or fire someone.

There is little direct legal precedent around this issue at this point, but it is likely that legislation and case law will become clearer in the near future. In the meantime, the risks are evident and few companies want to be the focus of any legal action. Given this point, it’s important that organizations have policies in place that protect against discriminatory practices and are explicit in how social media information can be used by employees in the hiring process, explains The Balance.

Otherwise, employers and staffing agencies run the risk of being sued for negligence or discrimination. Individuals on their personal social media sites may disclose information about marital status, children, religion, politics, disabilities and even social interests that, by law, must be ignored in a hiring decision. If a recruiter has accessed this data, it is difficult to prove that they were not influenced by it in their hiring decision.

As a rule of thumb, ensure facts are checked in addition to character on social media profiles. Other information such as marital status, sexual orientation, and political affiliation should not be held against the candidate to ensure a smooth hiring process.

About World Wide

For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (800) 245-9653 to speak with one of our representatives.