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Employer Social Networking Checks

Guidelines for Employer Social Networking Checks


Employer Social Networking Checks
Copyright Facebook / Christina Johnson
As social networking moves beyond social to professional, with Facebook networking apps like BeKnown and BranchOut, and with everyone's information showing up almost everywhere, it's important to be aware of what you should, and shouldn't, do when it comes to social networking.

It's also important to be aware of the rules companies should be following when it comes to checking out job applicants on social networking sites. Even though not all companies have policies on what and how they check, many do.

From both the job seeker and the employer perspective, it's important to have guidelines in place when conducting social networking research. That way there is a standard protocol that applies to all candiates and there are no potential discrimination issues.

Here's what companies ought to know, and what job applicants should be aware of, about conducting employer social networking checks for candidates for employment from Jay Zweig, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP.

Employer Social Networking Checks

  • Be consistent. Use social networking research to screen all job applicants for all positions or do not use it at all.
  • Tell applicants in advance that you will be looking online and at social media sites as part of the application process.
  • Designate someone who is not the ultimate decision maker as the social media researcher to help ensure the decision maker does not know about legally protected information.
  • Decide what information about applicants it is that you are looking for online and provide your social media researcher with specific instruction on reporting back this information only.
  • Do not access any applicants' social media profile or webpage through dishonest or deceptive means.
  • Consider the accuracy and validity of the information before making a decision.
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