Is private social media open to employers?

In the United States today, we have more than 280 million active Internet users.

 

Can you guess the number of active social media users? It’s 214 million.

 

That’s a ton of personal information being shared every second. Since its beginning, social media has developed into more than just another app. It’s where an entire generation lives, expresses themselves, and spends giant chunks of their time.

 

And for employers hunting top-notch new employees, social media looks like a great resource. While most interviews linger on the surface, the information published every day on social media promises to add dimension or shed light on the person behind the resume.

 

According to a survey from CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers say they’ve used social media to screen candidates. And according to the Society for Human Resource Management, 56 percent of recruiters say they’ve found some of their best candidates via social media.

 

But here’s another stat: 49 percent of employers say they’ve rejected a candidate because of information they’ve spotted on social media. For all its potential, social media can be a double-edged sword.

 

So, how should employers handle social media? Do they have a right to see all a candidate’s information?

 

The short answer is: no.

 

Like the stats say, plenty of employers scan social media. But employers do not have the right to view private profiles. (That doesn’t mean a recruiter couldn’t find information through a Facebook friend, for example.) It’s important to note that a collection of states have laws banning employers from asking for social media passwords. Making passwords a condition of getting or keeping a job is violation of these laws.

 

The truth is: using social media in screening can get tricky. And taking a DIY approach can add a ton of liability. It’s always good to have a trusted partner like ClearStar in this process—one that knows the rules and can give you a more complete picture. Call us today to get started.

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