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Employers should check applicants’ Facebook

12 December 2013

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Good practice guidance for the “social media era” has been released by the professional body for HR and people development. 

Drawing on consultations with HR professionals and employment lawyers, the CIPD’s report offers advice to employers who are struggling to keep up with the pace of change in recruitment methods. 

According to the CIPD, recruitment processes are increasingly being influenced by social media. 

Two in five employers say they look at candidates online activity or profiles in order to inform recruitment decisions. 

Pre-employment checks: an employer’s guide highlights the need to exercise due diligence to find out if applications might bring the organisation into disrepute or cause difficulties with managers, colleagues or patients. 

The legal risks and ethical challenges of not making clear that checks are being carried out are also explored. 

The CIPD report states: “Careless approaches to vetting and screening risk employing the wrong people, with resultant damage in terms of increased turnover and costs and lower morale. 

“They also risk legal challenge, which can undermine an employer’s reputation.” 

The full report is available to view online