SHRM Survey Finds HR Avoids the Use of Social Media and Search Engines for Employment Screening

The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) released the findings from part two of a series of surveys focusing on the use of social media in the workplace. The survey of 541 randomly-selected HR professionals within the job function of recruiting/staffing sought to discover how social networking websites and search engines are used by HR to screen prospective employees.

The findings are interesting. According to SHRM, “legal risks, lack of verifiable data, and lack of the job-relatedness of the information gleaned from social media websites can be just some of the reasons why organizations are avoiding these online resources as a method to screen potential job candidates. In addition, because of the rise in the use of social networking websites and online search engines more organizations have already developed or are in the process of developing polices about the use of these methods for screening job candidates.”

View the results of the SHRM survey here:

Considering the many risks of using social media for employment screening, we were encouraged to see the results that only 26% of the SHRM survey respondents indicated using online search engines to screen job candidates during the hiring process. This is a decline from 2008 when 34% responded using search engines for employment screening purposes. Similarly, just 18% reported using social networking websites to screen candidates.

Our position continues to be that, as with other forms of employment screening that involve the use of publicly-available information, using what you find in a social media search can deliver valuable information, or a whole lot of trouble. The key is balancing the risk with the reward and having solid policies in place to guide the use of such information.

If you’re looking for FCRA-compliant social media screening services or to discuss your employment screening program with an expert, request a free consultation.

About Michael Gaul

Michael is a results-oriented marketing executive with over two decades of experience in employment screening, physical security, and business process management. Michael has deep experience in human capital risk management and a passion for educating business leaders and HR professionals on strategies that tangibly protect their interests. Michael serves on the Board of the Secure Cash and Transport Association (SCTA) and is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), and the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS).
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