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Q&A: Can We Screen the Social Media Accounts of Job Candidates?

Some companies choose to review the social media accounts of job candidates, usually with the hope of spotting any red flags or assessing “cultural fit,” but we recommend against doing so.

First, it creates extra risk. You could be exposed to information about the candidate’s protected classes, such as their race, age, or religion. If your ultimate hiring decision was challenged, you would need to prove that those characteristics were not a factor in your decision.

Second, your application and interview process should provide you with sufficient information to determine whether a candidate is qualified and would contribute to your culture. You shouldn’t need to get into the private lives of candidates to determine whether they’re the right person for the job.

Answer from Laura, SHRM-CP

Laura has 7 years of HR experience, spanning public- and private-sector work in the education, transit, and insurance industries. After completing a B.A. in Asian Studies from Knox College, she received her M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from University of New Haven along with graduate-level certificates in Human Resources Management and Psychology of Conflict Management. Laura enjoys fencing, baking, cross-stitching, and spending time with her husband and two cats.

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HR Girlfriends™ is a Human Resources networking organization dedicated to advancing the practice and culture of people empowerment. Our team of Girlfriends consult, train, educate, develop, share, promote, and advocate for solutions in the field of human resource management.

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