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Employers use of social media in employment decisions

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Employer’s Use of Social Media in Employment Decisions173bias by depriving the decision maker of information regarding the applicant’sprotected trait and therefore precluding implicit bias from driving the decision”(p. 257). That would protect the employer from someone alleging bias sincethe employer could show that the decision making was not exposed to anypotentially discriminatory information. In addition, there should be a writtenpolicy for preemployment search of social media. It is important to ensure thata written policy exists that is specifically tailored to each employer’s needs andmeets the guidelines discussed here.When using preemployment testing or social media screening for competen-cies, the employer must follow these guidelines:1.Identify and list specific competencies required for the specific positionthat is being filled.2.Of the required competencies, the employer should determine whichskills can be assessed through the evaluation of an applicant’s socialnetworking profile and which would be better assessed through apreemployment test, an interview, or other means. The employershould draft directive guidelines for hiring managers and staff tofollow.4.The skills looked for or tested must directly relate to the relevant jobcompetencies for that specific position.5.The employer must implement a uniform policy regarding the use ofsocial media sites. For example, the same SNWs should be searchedfor each applicant for a given vacancy. The same is true for preem-ployment testing—uniform questions should be administered to allapplicants for that position.6.Finally, the organization should require that the person evaluating thesocial networking profiles and/or administering the test keep a detailedrecord of what was looked at for every candidate.The policy of keeping a detailed record may be used to show consistency,relevance, and adherence to the policy in case of a discrimination claim. This,in part, is based on a Tenth Circuit decision. InTurner v. Public Service Co.of Colorado(2009), the court delineated parameters for subjective criteria inemployment decision making. The court particularly emphasized the need forconsistency in the hiring process across candidates, the relevance of the evalu-ation criteria to the job in question, and the adherence of the interviewers toguidelines provided by the company.The written policy at a minimum should contain the following components:1.It must state when in the selection process social media will be used.2.It must state which social media venues will be used.3.It must emphasize that the social media search will occur at the samepoint for each applicant, and that the same social media venues willbe searched for each applicant.

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Term
Spring
Professor
NoProfessor
Tags
Discrimination, The Land, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

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