Is checking social media part of your hiring process? Increasingly, it appears to be for many employers. Jobvite compiled data on the use of social media in the recruitment process from several recent surveys into an infographic, finding that 52% of surveyed recruiters say they always search for social media posts during hiring, and 55% say they have reconsidered candidates based on social activity.

“There are several types of posts that will cast you in a negative light, but there are some that could help your case. 83 percent of recruiters consider illegal drug references to be negative, 70 percent consider sexual posts to be negative, and 66 percent will deduct points for poor spelling and grammar.

65 percent of recruiters view volunteerism and charity posts as positive, while most other behaviours are viewed neutrally. Use of alcohol appears as negatively as it does neutrally, and 69 percent of recruiters don’t care about your political affiliation.”

So is is it a good idea or a bad idea to check social media before you extend a job offer to an applicant?

Amie Lawrence at Select Perspectives Blog talks about some of the pitfalls of using social media in your hiring process: Why You Should NOT Use Social Media to Make Hiring Decisions

Lawrence points out how this can be a dangerous practice for two reasons:

Consistency/Reliability:

“If you are going to use a tool to make a hiring decision, EEOC guidelines say that it must be reliable and valid. Collecting inconsistent information on your candidates, that might differ across protected classes, and applying inconsistent standards to that information violates best selection practices and not only decreases the accuracy of the selection process, but opens your process up to legal scrutiny.”

Job Relevance/Fairness:

“It’s exceptionally important that the information you learn about the candidates and use to make a screen out decision is job relevant. Using an example from the careerbuilder.com survey, drinking alcohol is not an illegal act and if a candidate chooses to drink alcohol when they are not performing their job duties, this should not be used to draw any inferences about the individual and his/her ability to perform the job.”

Great reasons! And if those aren’t enough, here are a few others:

 

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