January 31st, 2017 | Sterling

Infographic: The World Has Become a More Social Place

Laptop with colorful arrows

Today’s world is a much more social place but imagine a time without social media. Some would argue that would be a perfect world, while others would miss being connected to friends, family and news stories as they happen. According to We Are Social, the number of worldwide internet users is 3.4 Billion while the number of active media users is over 2.3 Billion and this is only expected to grow with estimates of over 30% of the world’s population using social networks just in 2017. UK Millennials are the largest group to participate in social media usage with over 84% saying they use some form of social media every day.

According to CareerBuilder’s 2016 social media recruitment survey, 60% of US employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, up from 52% last year and 11% a decade ago. 56% of HR and recruiters say some of their best candidates are sourced via social media. In the UK, a survey by Monster.co.uk and YouGov revealed that 36% of UK employers have rejected a candidate based on their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn profiles, while more than half of UK HR professionals admit that a candidate’s online reputation can influence their decision to hire them.

Social Media and Recruiting

Social media searches need to be compliant with discrimination and privacy laws, identify potentially negative behaviors that can impact brand value and employee safety and have a global reach. Employers should develop a clear policy towards the use of social media for recruitment purposes, in consultation with employees or their representatives where this is required under the law. The DIY approach to social media screening increases a company’s liability and could cause negligent hiring. By reviewing “protected characteristics and sensitive personal data”” information that is found on social media, hiring managers are putting organizations at risk of discrimination.

By following the tips below, you can prevent this from happening at your business:

  • Which Social Media Sites to Screen? LinkedIn is a professional social networking site and is considered an acceptable screening tool. However, Facebook or Twitter platforms are more likely to contain a wide variety of personal content – providing greater insight for the recruiter, but also exposing them to hiring compliance risks should they use that information inappropriately.
  • Social Profile Information: Sensitive personal information should not be used as part of the recruitment process. Hiring managers should never use information related to a candidate’s age, disability, gender reassignment, marital status, race, religious beliefs, sex or sexual orientations when making a hiring decision.
  • Compliance with Data Protection Laws: Employers must be compliant with the UK Data Protection Act (and eventually the General Data Protection Regulation), as well as the Employment Practices Code. Social media searches will exclude non-user generated content, sensitive personal data and protected characteristics.
  • Be Transparent: Candidates must be informed if a social media or other online source is used to research information that could affect their application. They should be given a chance to respond to and explain the material discovered should it influence the hiring manager’s decision. Hiring decisions should be targeted on finding information relevant to the decision to offer employment.

Sterling created the Social Media Screening infographic to explain the benefits of having third-party background screening company perform online screenings. Learn more about the important background screening trends the best practices of a comprehensive hiring solution from criminal background checks to educational and credential verification in our Background Checks Trends & Best Practices Report 2016.

Infographic Social Media in the UK

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.