Labor: Should you use social media to screen job applicants?

If you choose to peruse potential hires’ profiles, follow these tips to minimize the likelihood of claims

In this modern age of social media mania, employers can often learn more about an applicant through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or Instagram than they would ever learn through traditional, professional means. For example, most job applicants can feign maturity and utmost professionalism during an hour-long job interview; how they present themselves on their social media pages, however, is more likely to reflect their true decorum. So, the questions become if, and to what extent, employers should use social media sites in deciding whether to offer employment to potential hires.

There is no denying that the desire to uncover the true character of any applicant is tempting. Why shouldn’t an employer be able to deny an offer of employment based upon a candidate’s imprudent, publically shared photos or posts on social media sites? The answer to this question would be simple if the only knowledge an employer ever gained from an applicant’s social media site was information demonstrating that the applicant was not the most qualified. Unfortunately, however, the information that should disqualify an applicant is almost always surrounded by other information that can expose an employer to potential liability.   

Contributing Author

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Tina M. Maiolo

A member of Carr Maloney, P.C., Tina Maiolo partners with clients to operate and grow their businesses. She focuses her legal practice in...

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