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HIRING

4 tips for safely searching social media when hiring

It is generally acceptable for employers to search social media as part of the hiring process, provided that they do so in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind when using social media in the hiring process:
  1. Relevant information only: It is important to only consider information that is relevant to the job in question. For example, if a candidate has posted inappropriate or offensive content on social media, this may be relevant to the employer if the job involves interacting with the public or representing the company in a professional manner. However, personal beliefs or opinions that are not directly related to the job may not be relevant.
  2. Privacy concerns: Employers should be aware of the privacy rights of candidates and should not request login information or access to private accounts.
  3. Potential biases: It is important to avoid making hiring decisions based on biases or stereotypes. For example, an employer should not exclude a candidate based on their race, religion, or other protected characteristics.
  4. Legal considerations: Employers should be mindful of federal and state laws that may restrict their ability to use social media in the hiring process. For example, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires employers to obtain written consent from candidates before obtaining a credit report or other background check.

In summary, while it is generally acceptable for employers to search social media as part of the hiring process, it is important to do so in a fair and legally compliant manner, and to only consider relevant information.

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