|Recently I have been reading a lot about the controversies around practices of many employers, mostly in US, UK and other developed economies, occasionally also in India, to ask the potential candidates for their account passwords on Facebook and other social networks. This post will cover my thoughts on this topic and will also explore how social media background checks can be done in lawful, ethical and fair manner.|
|Asking candidates for passwords to their social media accounts is already under investigation in USA and has been warned against in UK. It is just a matter of time before strict legislation is brought in place to prevent such mal-practices. Other countries are bound to follow suit and hopefully India too will put in place right laws to prevent these. This is great news as snooping into private and personal sections of the social media profiles is pretty much a gross invasion of privacy and a severely unethical practice.|
| While such practices are best curbed, the fact does remain that the web still offers a plethora of publicly available information which can help employers in learning more about the candidates and making well informed decisions, which take into account more comprehensive view of a candidate’s capabilities, beyond the typical resume. This public information could encompass candidate’s LinkedIn profile, blogs and posts authored, other public sections of their social media profiles, their tweets, and other such references. A comprehensive review of this public data can definitely enrich the evaluation and lead to more informed decisions on the candidates.
The Social Media Scan offering from JantaKhoj aims to leverage the publicly available information in an ethical and fair manner, providing more details to the recruiters, and letting them take more informed decisions in the area of employee background checks.
|What do you think? What is your take on using social media for background checks?|
Recently I saw a question from an HR professional in one of the popular HR forums – whether background checks should be done to verify the work experience of a candidate coming from a teaching / academic environment. This can be expanded to cover other spheres outside of the private or for-profit industry including government, NGOs, research institutes and even religious and cultural institutions.
I think that the doubt stems from the fact that some of these non-private industry entities may not be doing background verification on their current employees and also it may be tough to get employment verifications done from them. So it may be an easy way out just to assume that the claimed employment is correct and to NOT do any further verification.
This assumption represents a very serious breach in the organizational policy for background checks. These checks should be applied uniformly across any type of work experience. In fact, it is even more important to undertake stringent work experience checks when a candidate DOES NOT belong to private or for-profit industry. Some of the more intelligent and crafty candidates may claim employment in such domains because they know that it is quite tough to get formal verifications from such organizations.
So the best practice would be to apply the same rigor for employment background checks across any sector or domain and to let the specialists in a professional background verification agency to do the job for you.