Blog

  • Home
  • News
  • Q: Can I use social media as a way screening a candidate’s suitability?
You Are Here:

Q: Can I use social media as a way screening a candidate’s suitability?

Posted on | Posted in News

Recruitment is an industry of communication. Social media has become an easy and convenient way of communicating with clients and candidates as well as for building and maintaining business relationships. Statistics have shown that a large number of recruiters check a candidate’s social media profile before interview as a way of checking their suitability, which is not without risk. Checking a candidate’s social media profile may reveal characteristics which are protected under the Equality Act 2010 (the Act). The nine protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation. If a rejected candidate can establish that a recruiter has been looking at their profile on Facebook or LinkedIn and illustrate their rejection was based on one of the protected characteristics, then there is a possibility that they can bring a claim for discrimination under the Act. That is not to suggest that looking at a candidate’s profile before interview will be an automatic breach of the Act. If a rejected applicant can establish that their profile has been viewed, they will still need to illustrate some form of less favourable treatment because of a protected characteristic. If a candidate alleges unlawful discrimination in that he/she was not selected for a role because of a protected characteristic, any such claim will fail at the first hurdle if the candidate cannot show that you were aware of a particular characteristic – whether from use of social media (such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn) or otherwise. As discussed above if you have viewed a candidate’s profile it will not mean an automatic breach of the Act, however it does bring the candidate one step closer to establishing their claim (as they may be able to show you had knowledge of the protected characteristic). This therefore leaves recruiters with two possible solutions:

1 The first (and safest) option would be to simply not check the candidate’s social media profile.

2 Alternatively if you are going to check a candidate’s profile, be sure not to let any information (concerning protected characteristics) that you may discover impact your decision with regard to the candidate. You should therefore be sure to have robust recruitment procedures in place to ensure that information relating to protected characteristics does not unlawfully influence recruitment decisions.

Source: Recruitment & Employment Confederation www.rec.uk.com

0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts
19 Oct 2018

Time’s up on discrimination: top tips for becoming a more inclusive employer

Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you’ll be aware that gender bias is a hot topic right now. Equality in the workplace is under greater scrutiny than ever before, industry-wide. The spotlight is shining on businesses to change how they recognise gender and to improve opportunities – for everybody. Implicit gender bias within the recruitment[…..]

Latest Posts
05 Oct 2018

Taking action on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace

October 10th, 2018 marks World Mental Health Day, providing another opportunity for all of us to tackle the stigma around mental health at work; opening the discussion around what more can be done to make mental health and wellbeing a higher priority for employers of full-time and part-time jobs in Basingstoke. The theme of this[…..]

Latest Posts
24 Sep 2018

New research shows that 40% of employers believe office perks reduce employee stress

Wellbeing in the workplace is regularly making the news headlines. More and more smart employers recruiting for jobs in Basingstoke are asking us how they can create a healthier office space that will attract top talent to their business – and help retain valued employees. More than just a pay check In our previous blog[…..]

Latest Posts
24 Sep 2018

Want to know the secret to retaining staff?

So, you’ve found the ideal people to work for your company, provided ongoing training, awarded pay increases and bonuses, improved your benefits…yet still they keep moving on. Sound all too familiar? You’re not alone. With unemployment is at a record low, many employers across the UK are trying harder than ever to hold on to[…..]

Latest Posts
29 Aug 2018

You never know where a temp job might take your career

Sixteen years ago, I was doing a temping job as a receptionist when the owner of the agency approached me to see if I fancied a go at recruitment. Always open to opportunity, I said yes.  Here we are 16 years later and I’m the Operations Director at Wote Street People.  Now, I could tell[…..]