Social Media Screening for New Hires? Proceed With Caution!

Social media has exploded at the speed of light as the tool of choice for recruiting and screening many recruiters and employers. According to a national survey, 73% of HR and hiring professionals now rely on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and company blogs to identify, target, and review applicants.

The social networking approach is inexpensive, easy to use, and offers many job seekers and tools for quick and efficient sorting. For more information about social media screening, you can visit this link.

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But make no mistake; There are pitfalls and potential risks for employers. From breaking discrimination and privacy laws to reading often unreliable information available on social media sites. If you're not ready to identify and avoid potential pitfalls, you may be greeted with unpleasant legal surprises!

You need answers to these and other questions before you can proceed and even then, with caution

· What federal and state laws apply when you use Facebook, Linked In, and other social media channels to make employment decisions?

· What information should you disclose to candidates when using social media to review them?

· How can you be sure if you find potentially negative information about a candidate on the Internet?

· What is the danger of reading data on social media for a candidate who may later be untrustworthy, completely false or defamatory?

There are many other unique legal issues you can run into when using social media for recruiting and reviewing. You could even face a negligent hiring claim. The best advice is to consult a professional who understands the social media landscape before proceeding.