Using Facebook as a screening process for new hires

Can anyone tell me how they are utilizing Facebook or MySpace as a screening process for new applicants?  Is it recommended or not and legally what are the guidelines.  We have heard many stories of people being hired by firms and then information is found out after they are hired on their Facebook that may have caused them not to hire this person.  What are the general guidelines for use?  Thanks for any and all input I can get. Do you need to be invited on to view their Facebook page??

 HR Manager--Ophthalmology Practice


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added



    Facebook (FB) settings vary by the
    end-user.  Depending on the security settings a person selects, only accepted
    “friends” can view their information to the extreme that anyone with a FB
    account can view their profile (including all post, stories, & pics). 
    I have recently met with my recruiters and advised that MySpace, FB, or even tweets
    should not be viewed on any potential candidates.  The liabilities seem to
    outweigh the benefits.  Sites such as LinkedIn are being used internally to
    learn more about our candidates.


    On the
    flip side, the same sites that we are not utilizing to “research” candidates’
    profiles are considerations for use as a method to recruit new hires as one
    recent report shows 85% of recent graduates use some sort of online social
    networking sites

  • We avoid using social networking sites to screen candidates.  I agree that potential liabilities outweigh the benefits.  You could end up with candidate saying they weren't chosen because you knew their race, nationality, disability, etc. from the site.  On the other hand, of course, you may learn lots of positive (or negative) information that could help guide your decision.  Still, I'd hate to be dragged into litigation over something so easily avoidable. 
  • Does it really make sense to search a candidate on Facebook as a hiring decision?  Shouldn't the person be hired based on his/her experience and/or presentation in an interview?  I don't think that employers should use social networking as a way to "weed" out candidates, simply because well, it's designed to be SOCIAL.  If I want to post pictures from my vacation to Las Vegas, would a potential employer not hire me because I have a gambling problem?  What if there is a picture of me holding a beer bottle?  So what?  I'm over 21!  Should we really be peaking into people's social lives to determine if they are suited for a job?  I say NO.  Social is social and business is business.  Every heard of checking references?

    I’m very interested to know what kind of information was discovered after the hire was made that would cause the company to second-guess their decision.    


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