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Blog  »  March 2016  »  Using Social Media in your Recruitment Process - Blog
8
Mar 16

Posted by
Jennie Hussey

Using Social Media in your Recruitment Process

Social Media and employment law is a huge area of interest at the moment, given the current and ever-changing online environment we work and live in. It is advisable that employers make themselves aware of the different aspects of social media and the role it can play regarding employment law in the workplace. Having a Social Media Policy in place is hugely beneficial for employers today.

Over the coming weeks we are going to look at 3 areas of the employment relationship where social media can play a role: recruitment, monitoring and surveillance and discipline/dismissal.

Recruitment:
Employers generally need to perform background searches on potential new employees, however using social media sites to gain information can be a breach of Employment Equality legislation - if it is found that the employer based their decision to hire or not hire a person because of information gathered online. Asking an interviewee about their family or marital status, age, sexual orientation or if they have or intend to have children and so on is strictly prohibited under employment law so if an employer decides to do an informal check on FaceBook or LinkedIn of a potential new employee this could be construed as a violation of the Employment Equality Acts under one or more of the nine grounds of discrimination.

Also information gathered may not be entirely accurate or true and could result in the employer rejecting a candidate who would otherwise be highly suitable for the role which is being advertised and could lead to increased recruitment time and costs. If searches are not conducted within the boundaries of the law this can open the employer to risks of legal action by a claimant.

Certain protections can be put in place and the first step should be to include a Social Media Policy in the Company Handbook which establishes the rules for recruitment purposes as well as others which we will look at in the coming weeks.

Bright Contracts has a fully comprehensive policy built into the software specifically for Social Media.

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Posted in Company handbook