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Tips for using Facebook (and other social media) in the hiring process

If you use social media such as Facebook or LinkedIn as a primary source of recruiting, you may be inadvertently putting yourself at risk for discriminatory hiring practices. For one, there is the issue of disparate impact since some minorities may be underrepresented on social networking sites, a matter that may be particularly important for employers with any federal funding. The EEOC is currently reviewing the issue of disparate impact and it is expected that new guidelines may be forthcoming to encompass 21st century practices, such as social media.

Social media poses other potential risks for discrimination in hiring. Viewing a candidate's social networking pages may also expose you to information that you are not allowed to consider in the course of hiring, such as race, religion, age, political beliefs, or health issues.

Security experts CSO Online offer 4 tips for using Facebook legally to conduct background checks - which includes an article and the video, below. Among the many points they and other experts make are to have a policy and to enforce it consistently; be upfront and transparent, and to seek authorization; be aware of the potential legal hazards; to use a third party for screening and research; and recognize that online information may be inaccurate.

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