Most of us know that social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace can reveal a lot of personal information. Forms of social media can also provide an employer or hiring manager with information they wouldn't necessarily learn through a resume, interview or background check. But along with that comes the downside. Business and organizations can't make hiring decisions based on “subjective” information; and there are information privacy and employment screening laws.
Still, companies want to try and gain insight and visibility into an applicant's personality to figure out if they'll be a good fit for their job and company. But sometimes a person's online character may not be an accurate reflection of who they really are, and people can get a false sense of reality.
There's been a lot of talk of the pros and cons of using social media information in the hiring process. I don't think anyone right now has all of the answers. But before your business starts using social media information, you should seek the advice of your legal counsel so you know what you can and can't do. The hiring process can be fraught with potential legal issues including privacy, discrimination, compliance and accuracy.
Read this great article that discusses risks of employers using social media as part of their hiring process. Click here to read it now.