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Are Fewer Employers Checking Facebook Before Hiring?

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searchThe Society of Human Resources (SHRM), released the results of a recent survey about employers’ use of social-media in the hiring process. The findings may surprise some. According to SHRM’s survey, there are fewer employers using social-media sites to screen job applicants than there were in 2008.


The employers who participated in the survey responded that three primary concerns were serious enough to deter them from looking online for information about a candidate prior to making an offer. Specifically, they identified: (1) “legal risks,” including potentially discovering “information about protected characteristics;” (2) lack of verifiable data; and (3) lack of job relatedness.

I agree completely with the third reason cited. Before surfing the web for information about an applicant, employers should make an internal assessment of whether such a search is appropriate and necessary for that particular position. If it’s not necessary, the employer should make an official decision that online searches should not be performed—by anyone in the organization.

If, however, there is a reason that an online search or social-media search may be appropriate, the employer should make an official decision reflecting this and then implement a policy about who will be authorized to perform the search and under what conditions.

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Written by Molly DiBianca  at the Delaware Employment Blawg

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Growth in women's share of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations declined to 27% in 2011from a high of 34% in 1990. While women make up nearly half of the workforce, they were 26% of the STEM workforce in 2011.

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