Do This, Not That When Online Screening Potential Hires

Kim Mays

For hiring managers and human resources, being able to screen job applicants online sounds like a simple way to pare down the pile of potential employees. After all, it seems everyone has an online presence in some form. And using social media and other online accounts makes it easy to click through and find out more about people who are applying for jobs.

However, the downsides to this type of screening can be costly. Anyone conducting online screening must remember that certain types of data are considered to be in a protected class. Not to mention, many other legal issues could come back to bite you if you’re unfamiliar with human resource, state and industry laws concerning online screening.

But when performed properly, online screening can save time and give you a good look into a candidate’s potential for fitting into your company’s culture.

To find out what you should and shouldn’t consider when conducting online screening, our IT Download “Dos and Don’ts for Online Screening of Job Applicants” provides a list of good practices, including:

  • Don’t use questionable or illegal tactics to circumvent the online profiles of candidates who keep their accounts locked down (e.g., don’t create profiles and try to become friends or try to find someone who knows the person to snoop for you).
  • Do consider using a separate employee, not directly related to the hiring process, to do online screening. Come up with a list of items to check based on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other laws and ensure that the plan is used consistently. Then, have the information collected passed along to those involved in the hiring process.
  • Do keep detailed records of information collected and that may be used in the decision-making process—just in case—and spell out how the information collected will be used.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, so before you jump in and start digging online, be sure to thoroughly research all legal ramifications to the process in your jurisdictions or industry.



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