Background Screening – What you Need to Know

Podcast Sponsored by: Accurate Background

How is background screening impacted in an increasingly remote-first world of work? No doubt, the pandemic has reshaped the workplace. And in many ways, it’s here to stay. A report by Ladders revealed that by the end of this year, 25% of all jobs in North America will be remote. With that in mind, employers need to adapt their background screening practices to the new normal of remote work.

Our Guest: Chief Compliance Officer at Accurate Background

On our latest #WorkTrends podcast, I spoke with an experienced industry professional and SME on background screening, drug testing, and HR Technology from our special guest, Accurate Background. We asked him to tell us the basics every employer needs to know about background checks. He explains:

The best way to open the conversation today is to remind employers that background screening is heavily regulated. We’re talking about federal laws, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and state laws. These are in addition to the responsibilities that employers have under their federal FCRA and even local laws.

The Range of Background Screening

Both employers and candidates must understand the background screening basics and the different types of background checks.

There’s a wide variety of things that employers utilize throughout the screening process. Criminal history information is one. A subset that we call verifications is another. Verifications range from professional life license verification, employment verification, and education history. And then there are things like drug tests, credit reports, and driving records.

Consent – Yes or No?

Background checks are employers’ principal means of securing information about potential hires from sources other than the applicants themselves. Therefore, we asked if obtaining consent from the candidate is required before conducting a background check.

Oh, it’s required, and it’s required, and it’s required again. So employers, beware. Your disclosure is really a critical piece of the background screening process. If you’re going to do a credit report, tell them you’re doing a credit report. In some states, you also have to tell them why. Criminal history checks, personal or professional reference checks…all need consent.

What if a candidate refuses?

Most employers are conducting background checks contingent on an offer. If the candidate doesn’t want to authorize the background check, they don’t move forward with the process. And employers are well within their rights to leverage that, but they should certainly state it in their policy.

Social Media

Social media sites may seem like easy-to-access information about a potential job candidate. But is it acceptable or ethical for companies to scrutinize social media? What are some of the pitfalls that employers need to avoid?

Employers, hear me now, do not go on Facebook or Instagram or TikTok or even LinkedIn and look at your candidates yourself. That’s a big mistake. You want to engage with a professional organization that is doing this in a manner that is consistent with EEOC guidelines.

A professional social media screen will bring back information about whether or not a person is engaged in activities that could potentially present a risk to the organization. Information to help you make a decision that is ultimately about the true risk to the company and not just a personal opinion or unconscious bias.

The Marijuana Culture Shift

Recent years have seen a significant culture shift in how the use of marijuana is viewed. It’s legal in some states and becoming legal in many others. So what should employers be cautious of here?

There are still federal laws and federal mandates in place for drug testing, where it doesn’t matter what the state law is. Under any law where marijuana is legal, an employer does not have to accommodate use in the workplace. There are a lot of emerging state laws or laws currently in place related to whether or not you can test for marijuana pre-employment. Or whether you can use a positive test result for marijuana in an employment-related decision. But each one of those also has exemptions.

Adapting to the Remote Climate

Background screening shouldn’t take a back seat in this remote work climate. It’s important to understand the risk profile of someone who will be generally unsupervised yet still representing your company.

Take some additional due diligence to ensure that you know who your candidates are, that they’ve done what they say they have done, and that there’s nothing within their risk profile that will be destructive to your company’s reputation.

I hope you found this recent episode of #WorkTrends informative and inspiring. For more information on candidate screening and background check solutions, visit Accurate Background.

And, please mark your calendars! On Wednesday, May 25th from 1:30pm – 2:00pm ET, our #WorkTrends Twitter chat focuses on Background Screening in the Hiring Process, sponsored by Accurate Background.

Subscribe to the #WorkTrends podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. Be sure to follow our #WorkTrends hashtag on LinkedIn and Facebook, too, for more great conversations!

The 3 C’s of a Great Global Hiring Strategy

The pursuit of new markets is part of many companies’ long-term growth strategy, as is global expansion. From small businesses to enterprise firms, the key is to involve people. Companies need to be able to create a viable strategy for hiring, managing and keeping people — wherever they expand to.

But that’s not a simple task. There are numerous challenges in hiring employees globally — including local employment laws and regulations, differing cultures and expectations, and different languages. When it comes to background screening, it turns out that not very many companies are prepared to meet the challenges of global hiring. And that can mean a critical gap — in time-to-hire, in number of successful hires and in getting a new global location up and running.

What’s the answer? Global background-screening platforms that help companies put all the pieces together in one integrated system. It’s a vital part of a coherent and effective HR strategy. But HireRight’s Employment Screening Benchmark Survey for 2018 found that background checks are not being used nearly enough for either global employees based in the U.S. or employees based outside the U.S. This is a survey of more than 6,000 human resources professionals. The results are telling:

  • Only 16 percent of respondents said they verify the international background of U.S.-based employees.
  • Fifteen percent said they screen employees based outside of the United States — a 2 percentage-point increase since last year, yet still down 4 percentage points from 2016.

Despite global expansion and an extremely tight job market, we’re doing less to screen employees outside the U.S. than before. Few organizations have developed a formal global screening policy, yet 66 percent of those HR professionals said they struggle with finding qualified candidates, and 55 percent struggle with employee turnover. We know that background checks enable companies to make better hires. The survey found that 84 percent of employers, global or not, benefit substantially from background checks.

But there’s more to it than that, particularly in the context of global hiring. Too many companies expand without a game plan in place on background screening — and no matter where they are, candidate expectations include being able to apply and communicate via social media and mobile and not having their applications stuck in neutral over stalled paperwork. If you have problematic screening processes, there will no doubt be another employer that offers a far better experience. And we know that experience is a key driver not just of candidate experience, but of employee engagement once hired.

So here are three essential elements to look for when tackling background screening for your global hiring.

Be Consistent

From a managerial perspective, it’s imperative to have a way to handle the increasing complexity of global background checks. One effective strategy is to partner with a highly capable background screening firm. There are a number of advantages to doing this, but a key factor is that global expansion often creates not only administrative redundancy but a whole range of unintended gaps and inconsistencies, depending on the location.

When a corporation can partner with an outside provider and integrate a background-screening platform into existing functions, that provider should also have the expertise with regards to its data handling requirements in a range of locations, yet be able to bring all functions into a universal user experience. Consistency across the board, no matter whether it’s in Kansas, Hong Kong or Madrid, may save litigation headaches later.

Be Customizable

Laws and regulations are markedly different depending on where you’re hiring. Ambitious companies need and deserve to be able to hire a global workforce and answer to local compliance and regulatory changes. This means a screening program that can be tailored to answer to the unique laws, cultures and languages of any location is vital — but so is a program that can change and scale with the company, offering the same results and increased quality of hire, safety, security, regulatory compliance and employee retention, no matter the scenario.

Be Comprehensive

Each company has different preferences as to the way it wants background screening conducted and delivered, and different policies for the how, why and what of background screening. But a fractured approach that reaches back toward the paper-heavy ways of the past to cover global needs won’t work. Companies need increasingly efficient tools to function in this intensely competitive job market — where complexity has multiplied due to both global expansion and sourcing international talent.

One single platform that can handle the company’s needs, adapt to changing laws and regulations, and deliver accurate screening and usable, meaningful data on the entire process is the answer.

These three C’s should be essential qualities in your chosen background-screening platform. Look for a suite of powerful functions, able to do the heavy lifting for you, including reaching out into databases, public media and local criminal records as available in over 100 countries to provide clear answers as quickly as possible. Global coverage isn’t about being spread thin and having to resort to redundant tools to cover all your bases. It’s about meeting all your needs efficiently — managing costs while delivering accuracy, so you can make great hires, offer a smooth and fluid candidate experience no matter the language or location or culture, and feel secure that when it comes to global background screening, you’ve got it covered.

This post is sponsored by HireRight.

Pay Equity: A New Requirement for HR

The laws regarding pay equity are changing. In seven jurisdictions, there are new laws on the books regarding pay equity, including California, New York City, Oregon, Puerto Rico, and Massachusetts. Each has new laws prohibiting employers from asking a candidate’s salary history. There are more than a dozen other pay equity laws under consideration, and it’s going to be a very key focus for lawmakers — and therefore HR and the world of work — in 2018.

Navigating change

Employers are going to have to address this issue, starting now — regardless of your company’s position, or whether you’ve created a policy to deal with pay equity or not. The winds of change are upon us and it’s critical to start revising your hiring practices now. Or you may wind up breaking the law.

It’s not just laws that factor in, however. You’ll also want to be on the forefront of this transformation as an employer. In terms of attracting the best talent, it’s no surprise that it’s a best practice to demonstrate a progressive, well-thought out approach to pay equity. To not be clear about supporting pay equity is to possibly convey a retrogressive stance on fair and equitable hiring. At a time when pay equity is on the radar and in the news, to not have a policy towards pay equity, law or not, could be the key factor in whether a superbly qualified candidate applies to your organization, or goes elsewhere.

But there are also statistics showing that pay equity drives more profitability — tied into the fact that a well and fairly compensated workforce is a more engaged and productive one, and a more diverse workforce is a more innovative and creative one. A study of nearly a thousand companies on their pay equity positions found that the 51 companies officially committed to gender pay equity as of this past spring generated a 12.5% return to investors. That’s opposed to the rest — who generated a return of only 10.2%. Is it possible that paying women fairly is good business? I dare say it is.

Jumping on the bandwagon

According to the U.S. Census of September 2017, U.S. women still make only 80.5 cents for every dollar that men make. Glassdoor’s salary study in the Spring of last year found that men earn 24.1% higher base pay than women on average. But many organizations are taking the initiative. Among those known for their leading stances on pay equity are Starbucks — whose own study of its male and female employees found they are paid within 99.7% of each other for doing similar work. Gap has been officially paying male and female employees equal pay for equal work since 2014, and was the first Fortune 500 company to do so. Costco and Nike are among companies who are stepping up to do internal studies of their workforce. Tech companies are trying to repair their reputations as part of Silicon-Valley-esque bro-culture by conducting pay equity studies of their own. Will they play a role in changing the tech workplace? Probably.

We’ll see more and more organizations taking long, hard looks at their own compensation structures — and trying to remedy equity within existing employees as well as new ones. The Glassdoor study found that one key remedy for the gender pay gap are employer policies that embrace salary transparency. Albany County just announced it’s giving some employees salary “bumps” to address pay equity — days after passing its own salary history ban. We may see companies evaluating retroactive rebalancing, adding additional work/life balance components to their benefits packages, and setting key targets for increasing diversity and inclusion — as they drive towards better and more equitable pay among all of them. But they can’t do it alone.

Outsourcing Equity

That’s where recruiting and hiring firms come in. When companies outsource their recruiting and hiring to other companies, those companies are also responsible for compliance under the law, if not more so. An outsourcing firm that doesn’t guide its client on issues of compliance may be held liable for that client’s breaking the law. So, it’s incumbent upon firms to really understand the legalities involved in these new pay equity laws. And the firms leading the way with this issue are already setting their own policies. HireRight, for instance, recently announced it was building capabilities into its own hiring and screening tools that enabled its clients to remove salary verification from its screening process. Here at TalentCulture, we just featured a #WorkTrends podcast with HireRight on this topic — and we’re going to dive even deeper with them in a webinar coming up.

The bottom line is that if we’re going to improve the workplace, it can’t be left to legislation. But if there is a wave of legislation happening — and far more to come — it’s vital to understand the laws and compliance. When we combine solid internal policy making on the part of well-meaning companies with legislation, and then we increase the effectiveness by having hiring and screening firms create effective tools for observing best practices, then we’re getting somewhere with pay equity. It’s good news, and it’s about time.

This article was sponsored by HireRight. All opinions are that of TalentCulture and Meghan M. Biro.

Interested in learning more about pay equity?  Join us for “Pay Equity Legislation: 5 Ways to Tackle the Year’s HR Must-Do” lead by Meghan M. Biro.


Applicant Screening: How to Show Talent You Really Want Them

Bringing top talent into your organization is a careful dance: on the one hand, you need to know everything you can about an applicant, and on the other, you don’t want to scare them off in the process. The good news is that most job candidates understand the need for screening and background checks, and know there’s far more to their application than just having an interview or filling out an application. Even better news is that done right, screening can actually help to convey your genuine interest in job applicants, and increase their interest in working for your company.

Of course that also means there’s a flip side: done, let’s just say, less than ideally, a screening process can result in alienated candidates who would rather withdraw their application than continue the process. If there are any misunderstandings along the way, clear them up by clarifying process, timelines and expectations. If any kind of strike against an application comes up — from an old credit snafu to a lack of certifications, handle it with discretion and tact. Consideration and clarity go a long way. If it’s a problem of not being qualified but being otherwise promising, a positive approach may place them into a talent pool, where they’re ready to apply for a job they’re more suited for — and a known quantity to your firm.

It’s critical for companies to have a well-designed, thoughtful screening process. Here are five best practices to follow:

  1. Make it mobile-friendly.

Only 20% of companies are deploying their HR and employee productivity solutions on mobile apps. But if there’s a single criteria an organization should make sure it meets, it’s being mobile friendly. Mobile application systems can markedly improve candidate experience, and that certainly includes the screening process. Millennials and Generation Z’rs may well assume they’ll be able to do everything via mobile, and be turned off when they realize they can’t. It may also convey your employer brand as being not quite up to date or tech-forward — given the choice, most younger candidates will opt for a company that is more up to date.

  1. Make it efficient.

60% of potential candidates have quit a job application process because it was too lengthy. If you’re a small to medium or hungry company that is trying to stand out above the fray, there’s a golden opportunity here. Make your application process functional but merciful, if you can. Making it streamlined may not be that simple depending on the position, but as far as not losing candidates in the process, it’s worth considering.

  1. Screen relevant criteria, but leave out the rest.

You want to get a comprehensive report that addresses the concerns and questions related to working both at your company and in the position the person’s applying for. But a hospital and a software company have different criteria beyond security questions, and executive-level is altogether different from entry-level. Outsourcing a background check to a company that conducts generic, one-size-fits-all screening only adds to the candidate’s impression that they’re nothing but a number. It also may not give you all the answers you need to make the right hire.

  1. Don’t leave out contingent or gig workers.

In the latest benchmark report by the veteran screening firm HireRight, 77% of employers polled are projecting organizational growth, and 62% of employers polled are most concerned with finding qualified job candidates. It’s inevitable — and it’s also trending — that a substantial portion of hires may be contingent or temporary workers. For both security and fairness, they should be guided through the same screening and background check process as payroll and permanent employees. 86% of employers are already doing that, according to the report, but those that aren’t are overlooking a potential risk, as well as a strike against their employer brand. It’s not fair to full-time employees who did have to undergo full screenings if they’re working alongside those that didn’t — particularly if they share the same level of security clearance.

  1. Offer applicants an accessible, easy-to-navigate portal.

Candidates should not have to feel like they’re submitting to a mysterious process to do background screening. A navigable, friendly portal is the best way through the process. There should be someone available to answer questions, and if there is unfavorable information, a tactful approach to conveying it. Make sure Fair Credit Reporting Act legal requirements are followed correctly. If a candidate disputes the findings of a report, they should be able to discuss it and an investigation should be made — and resolved quickly. Resentment breeds disengagement quickly, and it may well be all over an error. Which is yet another reason to use a reputable firm with experience.

Even if a company has limited resources, accurate, well-designed screening systems are out there. The best ones help the employer present themselves in their best light — transparent not only about what they need to know to make a good hire, but also the fact that they respect and value applicant’s time and energy. Nothing will drive candidate engagement faster than a positive screening experience. In today’s talent market, it’s the edge you need to hire great talent. Want to learn more?  Watch “7 Steps to a Candidate Experience That Wins You Top Talent” a webinar on demand lead by Meghan. M. Biro.

This article is sponsored by Hireright. Opinions are my own.

Photo Credit: RollisFontenot Flickr via Compfight cc

The Lowdown on Minor Criminal Infractions and Background Checks

A common question employers ask about background screening is: “Will minor criminal infractions be found in the results of a background check, and if found, how should they impact our hiring decision?”

It’s a good two-part question.

The short answer to the first part of the question is minor criminal infractions generally will show up when screening companies conduct a county criminal record search, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. To show you how this all can work, I’ll use minor marijuana possession convictions as an example. Then I’ll address the second part of the question, how minor criminal infractions should—or shouldn’t—impact the hiring decision.

Where Are These Records Found?

The best method to identify convictions for marijuana possession is no different than that which you would use to find any criminal record; simply search the county court(s) where a person has lived, worked or attended school.

Why Wouldn’t a Possession Conviction Show Up? 

There are a few reasons why a marijuana possession might not show up. If the record is treated as a minor infraction and is dealt with administratively by a local court, chances are, that record will not appear on a typical Felony/Misdemeanor criminal background check.

Beyond that, many courts around the country allow low-level convictions such as marijuana possession to be sealed or expunged if the person meets certain conditions. If this happens properly, the record is effectively erased from the court’s searchable public records and cannot be found.

There are also some areas where low-level marijuana offenses cannot, by law, be reported. If you are conducting background checks in California, for instance, you cannot use these types of records to deny employment if the person was entered into a post-trial diversion program.

Don’t Forget About Door #3

There is another possibility employers should consider if a minor possession charge is revealed on a National Criminal Database search. Remember, that such databases are fraught with holes and often incomplete. Regardless of the record found on a national search, it should always be verified in the jurisdiction where the record originated. This is especially true with minor convictions where there is a possibility that the record was expunged or sealed. If the national database isn’t regularly updated, there is a good chance that that the conviction wouldn’t have been removed from the database’s records.

How Should Minor Criminal Convictions Impact Hiring Decisions?

Unfortunately, there’s never a good answer to this, the second part of the question employers so often ask about minor criminal convictions.

Employers want to ensure that the people they hire fit your company culture and don’t pose any threat to their business or other employees. But it’s also true that every employer is different and, for that matter, every job comes with a unique set of responsibilities.

Ultimately, it’s an answer each employer has to determine for itself.

There are, however, some considerations that employers should take into account before making a hiring determination. In particular, employers should consider how long ago the offense occurred, whether the candidate is a repeat offender and how the offense relates to the job being sought. You also need to consider if there are any industry regulations that might apply. For instance, if the person is applying to be a pilot, a marijuana conviction could preclude an airline from hiring them. Whereas the same conviction might be immaterial for someone applying to be an accountant.

As always, employers should always remember to follow proper adverse action procedures if they ultimately decide not to hire the person due to outcome of the background check.

Photo Credit: esposasmadrid via Compfight cc

Resume Verification: 3 Keys For Success

Successful resume verification can identify fraudulent degrees, incorrect employment and graduation dates, inflated salary histories and false job titles—issues that may help you determine a candidate is not right for you.

But what goes into a successful resume verification process? An important factor is the quality of the information provided by candidates in both the applicant release form and employment verification form (usually included on a job application or background screening questionnaire). If complete and correct, this information can be particularly helpful for completing background checks. However, if it’s incomplete or incorrect, it can hinder the verification process.

Here are three keys to getting the information you need for a successful resume verification process:

Wet vs. Electronic Signature

For legal reasons and verification purposes, candidates must submit a signed release that authorizes you to conduct an employment background check before you can begin the process. When a researcher contacts a candidate’s former employer, they usually request a copy of that release before they verify any information.

The problem: many employers have their candidates electronically sign these forms, and in many cases, this authorization simply requires a candidate to check a box that grants consent. While electronic consent is legal, many employers won’t verify past employment without seeing a “wet” signature or something resembling a signature.

They do this because they can’t afford to release confidential or protected information without proof that they were provided proper authorization by the subject of the inquiry. If you don’t have this information, there’s a good chance that they will withhold information until you can provide it.

Avoid this problem using one of two methods. The first: fax or scan and email the form. The other: use an electronic signature, but instead of a check box, use mouse-signature technology.

Ask Candidates To Be Thorough

Ask applicants to be thorough when listing past employment information on an employment verification form. If a candidate worked for a company with franchises or multiple locations, such as McDonald’s, providing something like the information below will not suffice.

  • Name: John Smith
  • Employer: McDonald’s
  • Location: N/A
  • Contact Information: N/A

To prevent this, communicate to candidates that they need to provide as much information as possible, including:

  • Employer Name
  • Employer Location
  • Employer Phone Number or Website
  • Dates of Employment
  • Starting and Ending Job Title
  • Starting and End Salary
  • Reason for Leaving

This advice isn’t limited to employment verification, as academic information also must be filled out to completion. Failing to do so may result in candidates not clarifying whether they graduated from a school or only attended, which can delay the background check.

Another commonly overlooked piece of information: whether candidates worked directly for the organizations they claim or through temp agencies or contractors. Not having this information can delay the search while the background screener attempts to resolve the inconsistency.

Employment Verification Form vs. Verified Information

The best verification is one where the screening company can compare the information the candidate provided to the information the employer shared. This is why I encourage you to tell candidates that they must fill out all of the information requested to the best of their ability. This can be used to highlight inconsistencies such as dates of employment, salary, job titles or responsibilities, etc., which in turn offers more insight into a candidate’s experience and character.

If a hiring manager is able to see that candidate-supplied information matches the verification, they can make an informed hiring decision, knowing that the information the candidate provided was accurate. The opposite is also true—for candidates whose information does not align with the employment verification, a hiring manager can look at the discrepancies and make an intelligent hiring decision.

Photo credit: Bigstock

The Hot Potatoes Of Social Screening

“The vacant laugh
Of true insanity
Dressed up in the mask of tragedy
Programmed for the guts and glands
Of idle minds and idle hands…”

—Neil Peart (musician and writer)

That’s when I saw the photo — a full view of a man’s naked back severely cut open from multiple slashes of some kind of large knife. Before even knowing the context (and not really caring at first), I cringed and rolled my eyes. I’ve seen a lot of inappropriate images online since I’ve been playing and working in online networks, usually the more social of the bunch like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, even Instagram (of course, since that’s where you share photos, and my appropriate share is plentiful).

This one, though, was really offensive, although I didn’t point that out to my friend who shared it, nor did I comment on it at all. I had just been scanning my news feed like I usually do and – smack – there be the gore. The context, which I did take 30 seconds to digest, was a story about a police officer that had been cut up by an assailant (not sure if it was true or not and didn’t take the time to fact check). The slant of the piece was why officers should be allowed to make a split-second decision to shoot an assailant if it’s a life-and-death situation.

My father was an officer and police detective for over 30 years, and he always told me that he’d rather face a “bad guy or gal” holding a gun than wielding a knife, because at least with the gun you knew where it was pointing. One night when I was in high school, my father and mother were leaving one of my football games when he confronted a “high” kid threatening a school official with a knife. My father was off duty and carrying his gun (like he always did), but chose instead to hit the knife-wielder with his camera bag over and over again once the kid attacked. My father was stabbed multiple times and the kid was arrested. Years later the kid-now-adult died in prison from multiple stab wounds.

But that’s not the point of my story.

No, where I’m going with all this is the offensive photo I found in my news feed. And, because of the industry I’m in and the perspective I usually take, I imagined if I were an employer looking at public candidate profiles across social and professional networks as part of my pre-employment screening process, finding these horrible hot potatoes along the way.

The reality is that I don’t have to imagine, since I have sourced, screened and hired multiple positions and team members over the years in my various incarnations, and that includes going online to see what I can find. I mean, where’s usually the first place most sourcers, recruiters, HR folks and hiring managers go today when screening a candidate? We Google them and more, right? And we search for them via social media to see what’s up in the virtual world — even if we don’t admit it (or admit they based hiring decisions on what they find).

The fact is, we can easily find professional or personal information on a job candidate with just a few clicks, and something we talked about in depth on the TalentCulture #TChat Show. However, alongside the ease come real and rising legal risks that employers must be aware of when researching candidates on a social network or through a search engine.

There are certainly both the risks and rewards of screening job candidates online, but understanding the legal considerations facing companies that turn to the Internet to check out job candidates due to privacy, discrimination and accuracy is critical. According to my friends from EmployeeScreenIQ and their The Unvarnished Truth: 2014 Top Trends in Employment Background Checks report (surveyed over 600 individuals representing a wide range of companies):

A substantial portion of respondents (38 percent) search online media for information about their candidates as part of the hiring process. It’s not an insignificant portion, but the vast majority of employers forego this activity. Eighty percent of those who check online sites turn to LinkedIn for information.

Plus, whether or not employers consider Google and other online social and professional network searches “background checks,” the FTC has ruled that some social media data aggregators are, in fact, subject to the same laws as traditional background checks.

Heck, if my friend was a prospective candidate of mine, I would’ve dropped him/her like a hot potato, without question or context. Of course I wouldn’t have documented that decision, since I’m not going to go on the record that I made a potential hiring decision based on what I found online, but nearly 50 percent of those above who said they screen socially drop because of inappropriate photos, and nearly 50 percent are screening via Facebook.

That all said, whether becoming or handling social hot potatoes:

  1. Employees should be much more self-aware of what they share online and why. They should always be vigilant, since they’re always perpetual candidates regardless of role or classification, and no matter how happily employed. Human beings are horrible decision-makers on the average, so making bad judgments of posting graphic photos online because you’re trying to make a point when a future or current employer (maybe one of the nearly 40 percent that won’t like it), or even potential investors if you’re launching your own business, doesn’t matter when they care about or for your point, then you’re forgotten as fast as you posted your point. No longer in consideration. Good luck to you.
  2. Employers should be much more self-aware of their screening processes and who’s screening whom, what, when and where. They should also always be vigilant, since they’re perpetual suitors regardless of the roles or classifications they’re “hiring” for. People are their greatest asset, and their greatest liability. Transparency I believe in, but there’s a reason for privacy and discrimination laws. There are just too many hot potatoes of social screening, so do yourself a favor and underscore your screening process with legitimate pre-employment screening practices that are EEOC, OFCCP and FCRA compliant.

Those acronym hot potatoes will get your company burned otherwise, most likely audited and fined. Then neither of us is in consideration any longer (employee or employer).

Good luck to you. Maybe start using an oven mitt.

About the Author: Kevin W. Grossman co-founded and co-hosts the highly popular weekly TalentCulture #TChat Show with Meghan M. Biro. He’s also currently the Product Marketing Director for Total Talent Acquisition products at PeopleFluent.

photo credit: pirate johnny via photopin cc

#TChat Preview: Legally Leverage Social Media In Recruitment

The TalentCulture #TChat Show will be back live on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT). The #TChat radio portion runs the first 30 minutes from 7-7:30 pm ET, followed by the #TChat Twitter chat from 7:30-8 pm ET.

Last week we celebrated the four-year anniversary of #TChat and talked about the future of the employee-employer relationship, and this week we’re going to talk about how to legally leverage social media in the recruitment process and more.

Where’s the first place most recruiters go today when screening a candidate? They Google them and more, right? They search for them via social media to see what’s up in the virtual world — even if they don’t admit it (or admit they based hiring decisions on what they find).

The fact is, employers can easily find professional or personal information on a job candidate with just a few clicks. However, alongside that ease come real and rising legal risks that employers must be aware of when researching candidates on a social network or through a search engine.

Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-creators and hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we learn about how to legally leverage social media in the recruitment process with this week’s guests: Jason Morris, Co-Founder, COO and President of EmployeeScreenIQ; and Nick Fishman, Co-Founder, EVP and CMO of EmployeeScreenIQ.

Sneak Peek:

Related Reading:

Meghan M. Biro: How Leaders Hire Top Tech Talent

Angela Preston: Congress Critical Of EEOC’s Policy Towards Background Checks

Debbie Fledderjohann: 4 Common Background Check Restrictions To Watch For When Placing Contractors

Lauren Conners: Cost Of A Bad Hire Vs. Cost Of A Background Check

Kazim Ladimeji: Can Social Media Background Checks Be Trusted?

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guest and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: How To Legally Leverage Social Media In The Recruitment Process

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio — Wed, December 10th — 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT Tune in to the #TChat Radio show with our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, as they talk with our guests: Jason Morris and Nick Fishman.

Tune in LIVE online Wednesday, December 10th!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, December 10th — 7:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm PT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin, Jason and Nick will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What are the pros and cons of screening candidates via social media? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: What course of action can be taken when finding criminal / inappropriate online activity when screening candidates? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: Is it always necessary to run background screens for all candidates you want to hire? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Until the show, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!

photo credit: toridawnrector via photopin cc