There is no doubt that social media is transforming the way people do business—and the trend extends beyond marketing. A number of companies are turning to social media to assist with their hiring processes. In fact, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s survey, 84% of organizations are currently using social media to screen candidates.
However, there are legal risks involved in the process: for instance, a simple Facebook photo can reveal certain protected characteristics such as race, gender, disability, and age that employers are not allowed to consider when recruiting.
Even so, many recruiters have devised a lot of ways to avoid potential legal pitfalls when recruiting via social media, including:
Expanding their applicants pool
Over 80% of companies are using social media to recruit passive job candidates—who aren’t currently looking for jobs—and to screen candidates who are being interviewed for certain positions. They believe that social media provide a good platform to reach highly qualified candidates that can sometimes be daunting to find through conventional recruiting channels.
Treating social media like other recruitment tools
Many recruiters are not turning to social media as the only recruitment tool. They are also integrating traditional channels such as career fairs and job boards so as not to block candidates who don’t use social media or who lack strong social media presence.
On the whole, the message is delivered; while it isn’t fair to use social media to make employment decisions, employers continue to use it as an extension to candidates’ resume and a as conversation starter to give them a deeper understanding of the potential candidates.