Recruiter Misuse of Social Media Can Increase Risk of Liability

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Recruiters are increasingly turning to social media to screen and recruit candidates. Jobvite’s 2012 Social Recruiting Survey found that 92% of respondents plan to use social media for recruiting. Often, recruiters are viewing and considering information that should not be utilized in the hiring process. LinkedIn is replete with information that should not be considered when searching for or selecting candidates. Yet, the same survey found that LinkedIn is the most popular social networking site for recruiters.

LinkedIn profiles likely contain photos of candidates and other information identifying a candidate’s race, ethnicity, age, disability, pregnancy, or religion. Federal and state anti-discrimination laws prohibit companies from using such non-work-related information when hiring. Additionally, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued regulations for the employment provisions of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that prohibit acquisition of “genetic information” through social media.

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