Is there a downside to screening the social media accounts of job candidates?
Answer from Kyle, PHR:
There can be downsides, yes.
First, screening social media accounts creates extra risk. You could be exposed to information about a candidate’s protected classes, such as their race, age, or religion. If your ultimate hiring decision were challenged, you would need to prove that those characteristics were not a factor in your decision.
Second, it takes extra time and adds an unnecessary cost to your hiring process. The questions you ask on the application and during the interview should provide you with sufficient information to determine whether a candidate is the right person for the job. If you’re not getting the information you need, I would recommend reevaluating the questions you’re asking during the hiring process.
Kyle is a professional author, editor, and researcher specializing in workplace culture, retention strategies, and employee engagement. He has previously worked with book publishers, educational institutions, magazines, news and opinion websites, nationally-known business leaders, and non-profit organizations. He has a BA in English, an MA in philosophy, and a PHR certification.