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
09 Nov 2021

Do I want a new job or is it time to negotiate?

The pandemic gave people the chance to take stock of their working lives and evaluate new priorities such as remote working, flexible or part time hours and mental health. ‘The Great Resignation’ has seen employees worldwide leave unsatisfying working conditions, with some having a total change of direction of their career path.  A lack of[…..]

Latest Posts
17 Oct 2021

Opening minds and opening doors: the benefits of outplacement service after furlough

The UK Government Coronavirus Job Retention scheme ended on 30 September 2021 and organisations across the country will be deciding which roles are now redundant. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) predicts that 150,000 employees will be affected the end of the furlough scheme. The employees could benefit from support like outplacement[…..]

Latest Posts
23 Sep 2021

Investing in candidates in the long term: A success story

Anthony has been on the books of Wote Street People, a recruitment agency in Basingstoke, for over 12 years. We’ve placed him in temporary jobs, permanent jobs, and he’s found jobs himself…but he always comes back to us. By telling his story, we hope other candidates will be able to see how much we invest[…..]

Latest Posts
27 Aug 2021

It’s people not technology, that makes our world go round – do your bit and get referring

As mentioned in our previous blog, there is currently a widespread candidate shortage and we need your help to match the right people to the right jobs. What has a candidate shortage got to do with me? Worker shortages will affect everyone at a personal, local and national level. The pandemic and people self-isolating proved[…..]

Latest Posts
26 Aug 2021

Facing redundancy? The path ahead is paved with transferable skills

Why did the chicken cross the road? There wasn’t a lorry driver available to give it a lift. You’ve probably heard the news reports of a partial closure of the restaurant chain Nando’s and fewer dishes on the menu at KFC. Turkey might be off the menu for some this Christmas too because of a[…..]