Social media is highly popular among people in today’s developed countries, and is likely to stay that way for some time. Most people use social platforms to connect with friends, family, coworkers, and others they might know. Another leading utilization of social media is for businesses to connect with their customers. Likely the third-most popular use of social media comes from employers in screening applicants for open positions.

Even though most people are aware social media profiles are open to the public, individuals and their peers invariably post inappropriate content to their profiles. While screening these pages for inappropriate content won’t always yield negative or inappropriate content, failing to look through what’s open to the public on something as readily accessible as the Internet isn’t worth the minimal effort required to screen them.

Here are several guidelines employers should use in screening applicants. Screening applicants isn’t a static process from employer to employer, although all organizations should strive to keep screening practices the same for all applicants.

Have someone outside of hiring search social media profiles

While it doesn’t always happen, organizations that use social media to find applicants are sometimes accused of using protected information – age, sex, race, etc. – to screen applicants. This is not in concordance with United States law. One way to fairly screen applicants is to have someone who isn’t involved in making hiring decisions responsible for thumbing through content on applicants’ profiles.

Look at all applicants online

Only looking at certain applicants’ social media profiles does not lend itself to being fair. There might be applicants the screener feels are professional, responsible, etc., and he decides not to screen them at all. Whether those applicants have inappropriate material on their profiles or not, picking and choosing who gets screened on social media isn’t fair.

Never ask for applicants’ passwords

Although some organizations ask for potential employees’ passwords, you should never ask applicants, employees, or anybody else for their passwords. Asking someone for their log in information is a breach of privacy – would you want someone looking through your private material, digital or physical? It doesn’t matter whether you have anything to hide or not.

Asking for private information isn’t appropriate and could shoo some applicants away from your organization. It might result in negative press floating around on the Internet, as well. As such, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t ask applicants for their social media passwords or login credentials.

screen people using social media

Ask for outside help

Making hiring decisions inappropriately could result in legal actions against your organization, you not hiring employees best-suited for positions they applied for, or wasting important employees’ time on duties that could be spent more optimally elsewhere. Look online for social media screening organizations like Fama to be more efficient, and, more importantly, hire applicants the right way.

Document everything

Document everything! Whether it’s something negative or inappropriate that urged employees to exclude their profiles from job searches, or anything else, your organization should retain such information. It won’t take up loads of room to store it, or otherwise set your employees back, time-wise or financially.

Using these tips, you should be able to screen applicants for open positions the right away – try it!

Note: This is a sponsored post.

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