With demand for candidate social media checks increasing by 120% over the last year, employers are being warned that a ‘DIY’ approach to screening could lead to challenges of discrimination.
The Sterling data reported that the vetting of candidate profiles online is now seen as a valuable addition to traditional screening, however, if you don’t know what to look for, employers risk ending up with an incomplete or inaccurate picture, which could lead to being influenced by unconscious biases.
Tim Stokes, Head of Sales, EMEA, at Sterling, explained further, “Social media usage surged during the pandemic as people looked to fill a ‘social void’ as in-person restrictions were put in place, so it’s perhaps no surprise that, in line with this spike in personal use, we’ve seen more employers using these online platforms as vetting tools. However, there are significant risks associated with social media screening if it’s not implemented compliantly, and a do-it-yourself approach could expose an employer to challenges of discrimination.”
“It’s important to consider that social media screening should only be used to identify behaviours that are portrayed online that could be cause for concern for the business or the job role specifically. It could include anything that may be derogatory, bigoted, indicate violent behaviour or obvious discrimination, for example. It should not be used to identify particular characteristics of an individual that wouldn’t necessarily be screened in a ‘standard’ vetting process.”