"That already isn't a good start, but the convenience of doing a background check via social media may even make things worse"
Can an employer legally examine a candidate's social media presence as part of the recruitment process?
"The concern about recruiting with social media is primarily one of allowing improper information (such as race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, etc.) to "taint" the selection process. In addition to including numerous pictures -- which will reveal a candidate's age, sex and race -- social media sites allow and encourage individuals to proclaim their religious and political beliefs. Once an employer reviews the website, it will be charged with knowledge of all this information that should not be included in the hiring process."
I would agree that's a tricky situation. But it does make it look sensible to have a social media in place that will clearly spelt out which off work social media interractions would make employees culpable.
"The law says that companies can only "control" employee behavior when employees are doing something in behalf of the company"
How do we define 'in behalf of the company" in this context? We've seen employees been fired over status uodates that did not go down well with management.
Two questions I may like to ask:
1. Are social media posts considered "free speech"?
If an HR worker is already combing through someone's Facebook profile and Friends to verify education history, why the heck are they not actually checking with the university directly?
I used to work with a university's alumni office. There are a handful of companies that consistently checked with us, while most companies do not. Why they don't is something I don't understand. Doing a proper background check seems to require some ironclad internal policy; not every HR department seems keen on it.
I speculate that there are companies who do verification only when they're suspicious of someone. That already isn't a good start, but the convenience of doing a background check via social media may even make things worse.
The law says that companies can only "control" employee behavior when employees are doing something in behalf of the company. So--if they are representing the company in off hours, that could potentially qualify. For the most part, though, employees (when they are off work) are free to use social media as they choose.
Do you think it is a good move for companies to develop two social media policies, one ccovering emplyees social media interractions in the workplace and the other dealing with employees social media engagements during non-working hours/periods?
"I think there is a huge disconnect in the HR world about fairness vs. misguided effort. Organizations, for instance, praise diversity, but evaluate employees on how they fit in, rewarding those who are the least diverse."
Yes. IMO, organizations have gone in the wrong direction where they reward less the employees who are good at performance but less effective socially and the opposite ones i.e. those who are good at communication and average at performance take the lead. If you are taking social presence into account while developing performance appraisals, you are doing the same mistake again. I am only a supporter of evaluating a candidate at the recruitment stage.
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