guide for social media in background screeningProforma Screening Solutions has published a whitepaper describing best practices (and pitfalls) for using social media background checks in making employment decisions. The key point is that using the information in social media profiles is subject to the same regulatory requirements as other kinds of information. Employers who fail to comply with these requirements in taking adverse action against an employee or applicant are at risk of discrimination charges.

The Essential Guide to Social Media Background Screening for Employers outlines research supporting evidence that employers do access and use social media information in the employment process. Such behavior puts employers at risk of violating, or appearing to violate, the privacy of an applicant or employee. It is difficult to mitigate this risk because if private or protected information is available in a social profile, the employer cannot easily prove that he or she did not see it or use it in an employment decision.

The guide offers strategies for the appropriate use of social media profiles, which include designing policies that guide the use of social media in employment decisions and utilizing the services of a professional background screening agency to perform the social profile research.

David Lowers, President of Proforma Screening Solutions, said, “Professional background screening companies are highly experienced in regulatory compliance. Even when using social profiles they are trained to ensure that information is used only to improve hiring success in a fair and relevant way, minimizing the exposure of employers to legal risks.”

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