Back in July, I wrote two stories and a blog post about Twitter's rapidly growing popularity as a recruitment tool. The Wall Street Journal covers a lot of the same ground in a story published earlier this month. I am linking to it here because I think the points are worth reiterating, given that interest in recruiting candidates via Twitter and other socal channels shows no signs of abating.
According to the article, among Twitter's strengths as a recruitment tool:
Still, Twitter isn't without risks. One alluded to in the article is that Twitter can expose recruiters to personal information about candidates. As IT Business Edge's Lora Bentley wrote, this could lead to discrimination lawsuits if employers allow information about the applicant's age, race, family planning, religion or any other protected status to improperly influence hiring decisions. She followed up with a post in which she encouraged employers to avoid such issues by following established hiring criteria and documenting everything.
Lack of documentation for recruiters using Twitter and other social channels is a problem, stresses a Workforce Management article. Said Paul Mollica, a partner at Meites, Mulder, Mollica & Glink in Chicago:
When the OFCCP [Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs] or plaintiffs' attorneys come along with a discovery request and want to see the trail for recruiting, these employers are going to come up short. The problem they will have created is that the data and the paper will not be there, and they will only have evidence in digital form on smartphones and flash drives. How will they pull it together? Employers will be left throwing up their hands. Worse yet, when the EEOC comes knocking to investigate a complaint, the records are in a digital mist, and that could be a terrible problem. It's risky because the records aren't there.
Relying too heavily on recruitment via social channels can also create problems if companies allow it to interfere with diversity initiatives. As another attorney interviewed in the article points out, demographic characteristics of many social networks skew white and young.