Charlene Cain on Background Screening of Job Seekers


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Charlene Cain, AALL Placement Committee, presents on Background screen of job candidates, at the Careers in Federal Law Libraries event during the AALL 2011 Annual conference. Event was hosted at Drexel iSchool on Saturday, July 23, 2011

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  • DiscriminationEmployers may be accused of disregarding candidates who are members of protected classes by viewing online profiles of people based on prohibited criteria such as race, creed, color, nationality, sex, religion, marital status, or medical condition. “Too Much Information. ”CredibilityVerify that the online information actually refers to the applicant in question“computer twins” with similar names. “cyber slamming” which is usually done anonymously and includes derogatory comments on websites or setting up a fake website that does not belong to the supposed owner.AccuracyEmployers need to be aware that negative statements might not bet true—how can the employer verify that the negative information is accurate, up-to-date, authentic, and if it even belongs to or applies to the candidate in question?PrivacyInternet background checks have yet to be fully explored by the courts as a privacy issue.Everything online is not necessarily “fair game” for employers. If a person has not adjusted the privacy setting so that his or her social network site is easily available from an Internet search, that person may have a more difficult time arguing that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. Terms of use for many social network sites prohibit commercial use and many users literally believe that their social network site is exactly that, a place to freely socialize. The argument would be that it is the community norm, and a generally accepted attitude, that social media sites are off limits to unwelcome visitors even if the door is left open. 
  • Charlene Cain on Background Screening of Job Seekers

    1. 1. What’s Your Online Profile?<br />And what does it mean <br />for your job search?<br />Charlene Cain<br />July 23, 2011<br />
    2. 2. MySpace<br />Facebook<br />Blogs<br />Twitter<br />Plaxo<br />LinkedIn<br />Quora<br />Google+<br />Spoke<br />
    3. 3. Prosecutors Look to Social Media for Selecting Casey Anthony Jurors<br />Posted May 16, 2011 10:54 AM CDTBy Stephanie Francis Ward<br />Prosecutors trying Casey Anthony, a 25-year-old Florida woman charged with murdering her young daughter, were armed with Internet information during a special Saturday jury selection, checking out panel members’ social media profiles during voir dire.<br />According to the Associated Press, prosecutors in the high-profile case used a preemptory challenge to dismiss an individual who allegedly posted the jury instructions on his Facebook page. He also joked about writing a book, the AP reports.<br />Another juror, who Tweeted about a fender bender, was also excused. “Cops in Florida are idiots and completely useless,” was most likely the tweet that caught the government’s attention.<br />The case now has 12 jurors selected. Judge Belvin Perry Jr. said that once 15 potential jurors were chosen, he would like to start swearing them in.<br />How ubiquitous is social media impact?<br /><br /> <br /><br />
    4. 4. A Hiring Manager: Why I won’t Hire you <br />“And speaking of Google … <br /> I googled you and found that:a) You are weird, frankly, orb) You whine a lot on listservs with searchable archives orc) Whatever.  <br /> After all, you googled the library you are interviewing at and likely googled members of the search committee, didn’t you?”<br />
    5. 5. How do Employers do Background Screening?<br />Consumer Reporting Agencies<br />Criminal background checks<br />Immigration status<br />Behavior on social networking sites<br />
    6. 6. What are they trying to find?<br />Illegal immigrants<br />Patterns of indiscretion<br />Evidence <br />discriminatory attitudes<br />poor skills related to employment<br />academic fraud<br />criminal or inappropriate behavior<br />
    7. 7. Why do they do it? due diligence<br />U.S. Department of Commerce: <br />30% of business failures directly attributable to poorly-executed hiring procedures<br />5% of employees later found to have criminal records<br />10% of applicants who sign background check waivers have criminal records<br />40% of applicants have fraudulent resumes <br />
    8. 8. 2009 survey<br />2,600 hiring managers surveyed<br />45% use social networking sites to research candidates<br /><br />
    9. 9. survey<br />What do employers use?<br />29% use Facebook<br />26% use LinkedIn<br />21% use MySpace <br />11% search blogs<br />7% follow applicants on Twitter<br />
    10. 10. survey<br /><ul><li>35% of employers rejected job applicants based upon information on social networking sites </li></li></ul><li>Reasons cited for applicant rejection<br />Content on social networking sites<br />53%: Inappropriate photographs or information<br />44%: Content about drinking or using drugs<br />35%: Negative comments re: employers, colleagues or clients<br />29%: Poor communication skills<br />26%: Discriminatory comments<br />24%: Misrepresentation of qualifications<br />20%: Sharing previous employer’s confidential information<br />
    11. 11. National association of Colleges & Employers (NAcE) survey of college students<br />70% of Class of 2011 seniors said they expect employers to view candidates’ social networking profiles <br /><br />
    12. 12. Tweeting<br />Tweeting has the weight of trust<br />Users willing to share intimate details<br />Downside: <br />Fodder for opposing campaigns to use against politicians  <br />When Tweets go viral they can be used against incumbents<br />
    13. 13. Tweeting, cont’d<br />Tweeting has tremendous potential liability<br />Tweets are subject to electronic discovery/subpoena <br />Heavily-regulated companies required to preserve and maintain electronic records, including tweets<br />
    14. 14. Tweeting, cont’d<br />Tweets can go viral and be publicized<br />Tweets cannot really be deleted<br />So…<br />What if a trade secret is Tweeted?<br />What if an employee sends a personal Tweet via a corporate account?<br />Case in point: #gettngslizzerd<br />
    15. 15.
    16. 16. Employer risks<br />It is not illegal to search online profiles during the employment process, but doing so can lead to:<br />Accusations/reality of discrimination<br />Questions regarding credibility and accuracy of information found<br />Questions regarding how much of the information found is “fair game”<br />
    17. 17. Potential legal risks for employers <br />Does looking at online profiles spark an action in violation of<br />Title VII of the Civil Rights Act<br />Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990<br />Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 <br />Executive Order 11246<br />
    18. 18. How employers protect themselves<br />Obtain consent first<br />Have a clear internal policy and documented training<br />Have objective & documented methods and metrics<br />Screen the same sites for all candidates<br />Have an in-house person not connected to any hiring process do the screening<br />Pre-define the types of information screening for and the criteria used<br />Employers should never friend an applicant<br />
    19. 19. How can you protect yourself?<br />1. Keep your networking professional, even if your settings are completely private<br />
    20. 20. How can you protect yourself?<br />2. Keep your profiles as private as possible<br />Facebook: Only let your friends view your information<br />Twitter: Make sure you check your followers list regularly<br />
    21. 21. How can you protect yourself?<br />Facebook privacy settings<br />Realize that <br />if another user tags you in a photo or video or at a place, you can remove the tag or limit who can see that tag<br />some content you share will show up on your friends’ pages and other pages they visit<br />even if you remove information from your profile or delete your account, that information may remain viewable elsewhere if it has been shared with others, or it was copied or stored by other users<br />
    22. 22. How can you protect yourself?<br />Facebook privacy settings<br />Realize that<br />messages you send to others cannot be removed<br />when you post on another user’s profile or comment on another user’s post, that post will be subject to the other user’s privacy settings<br />if you use an external source to post to Facebook, such as a mobile application, the privacy setting for that post will be set by that external source<br />
    23. 23. How can you protect yourself?<br />3. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know personally<br /><br />