Social Media Background Screening Webinar


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A free webinar that offers advice on what information you can and cannot use from a social media background screening. Learn common pitfalls of social media background checks and how to avoid legal risks.

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  • Address a few housekeeping items:Phones are on mute.We will have an opportunity for questions at the end of the event. To submit a question, please use the Q&A portion of the GoToMeeting panel to type your questions. Time permitting we’ll address as many questions as we can. Any questions we are unable to address during this event will be responded to following this event.Today’s session will be interactive – we’ll be asking you a few questions using the live polling feature in GTM. So please participate in those.Last, today’s session is being recorded. For everyone who registered for today’s event, we will send an email that will include a link to today’s recorded session for future viewing.
  • Make introductions:Geoff Andrews: Geoff is the co-founder and COO of Social Intelligence Corp., Since SI’s inception in early 2010, Geoff has overseen client and partner management, operations, sales, and marketing. Prior to Social Intelligence, Geoff was a Director and an original member of Steel Card, playing a key role in the company's development and successful acquisition by ChoicePoint, where he then served as VP of Operations for the Personal Lines Software Division of Insurity, a ChoicePoint company.  Prior to joining Steel Card, Geoff was a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, focused on business and technology strategy within the insurance and financial services industries.Welcome Geoff!
  • Implementing social media screening – how you go about it; must do’s
  • Source: wikipedia
  • Social Media today goes way beyond the standard definition and includes any form of user generated content on the Internet. And that’s not just your more mainstream social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc. It includes other areas of both user generated and non-user generated content like blogs, news stories where the individual was included in the story, etc, social games and more. So as you can see, social media really does blur the lines of what’s considered not only personal vs. professional content, but it also creates a clear grey area when it comes to what might be considered public information vs. private information. And we’ll talk about both of these “areas of grey” in more detail later in our presentation.
  • It’s important to discuss the differences between social media RECRUITING and social media SCREENING.What we’re talking about here today is social media background screening. This is when you’ve extended or are about to extend and offer to a candidate. Or if you’re deciding amongst a few top candidates, and need to gather more information to determine the deciding factors.Both Social Media Screening and Social Media Recruiting (SMR) have their own set of risk vs. reward and each have potential legal pitfalls associated with them. By way of example, with SMR, recruiters and employers need to be aware of governing bodies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). If the OFCCP deems your social media screening practices as an intent to discriminate (“disparate impact” on a protected class), the failure to comply with their regulations could result in disqualification from government contracts.
  • Q:  Does your company use social media to screen candidates? (a) Yes, and we have established policies in place (b)  Yes, but there are no established policies in place(c)  No, but we’d consider it after receiving more information (d) No, we would never consider using social media screening
  • A recent survey carried out by social media monitoring service Reppler, found that more than 90% of recruiters and potential employers use or have used social networking websites as part of their employment screening process. Astonishingly, 69% of recruiters admitted sleuthing a candidate’s social networking profile and later rejecting their application based on the content they found.In a recent Jobvite survey, 80% of companies use social media for recruiting and screening candidatesIn a recent ExecuNet survey, nearly 80% (77%) of respondents indicated they use the web for screening potential job applicants.User Counts by Top Social Media sites:130M LinkedIn Registered users450M blogs, 81k new blogs created daily462M registered Tweeters, 290M Daily Tweets, 100M active Twitter users490M YouTube users845M FB users49M Google+ usersHow is social media changing the way employers screen candidates?Social media - especially the more popular social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn - have created a new and rich information source for HR, staffing, and recruiting practitioners screening candidates. Social networks offer a free way to verify a candidate’s résumé claims, unearth undesirable behaviors, and gain insight into a candidate’s skills, personality, and potential cultural fit. While benefiting employers, social media as a screening tool does create new legal concerns and should be used wisely to avoid potential pitfalls.
  • Common pitfalls of internal, ad hoc searchesNo formal policies or protocols in place - Managers are using social media as their own form of background check without the proper training on what they can or can’t make a hiring decision based on and the risks they are creating for their organizations Exposing themselves to unallowable information Aren’t being fair and consistentMust be compliant with FCRA (required if outsourced, best practice if conducted internally)How can you determine if applicant has more than one online identity?How can you determine if the social post belongs to the applicant?
  • Q:  When screening a candidate, what types of online information is deemed allowable to collecta. Ageb. Religionc. National origind. Genetic Informatione. None of the above
  • It is not necessarily illegal for employers and co-workers to discover this type of information online or through other means, but employers can't use protected information such as age, race, gender, disabilities and sexual orientation when making hiring decisions or employment decisions once the person is working at the company.Legal ramifications:Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (based on race, religion, and gender)Americans with Disabilities Act (based on possible alcoholism)Age Discrimination in Employment Act (based on age)Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (based on family medical history)
  • A TalentWise report that includes a social media search powered by Social Intelligence to a company would include racist remarks, sexually explicit photos or videos, or flagrant displays of weapons or illegal activity.Photos can reveal age, race, etc.
  • As long as employers are not using information they discovered about protected subjects such as a person's age, race or marital status, it is perfectly legal to check out someone's social media pages. In fact, job candidates and employees being considered for promotions should expect employers to take their social media activities into consideration.While the law in this area is evolving and continues to evolve, it may be unrealistic to expect meaningful privacy regardless of the privacy settings placed on a social media page. An executive recruiter, for example, may be a friend of a friend. Also, even someone who is a direct friend has the ability to capture a screen image and forward it to others.
  • Employers who avoid Internet Screening• Expose themselves to catastrophes by potentially making negligent hiring decisions• Ignore obligation to protect existing employees and customers by not making best efforts to screen out risks• Put themselves at a hiring disadvantage as competitors use web content to make better hiring decisionsEmployers who Conduct Screening Internally• Expose themselves to protected class information which can lead to allegations of discrimination• Can’t conduct fair and consistent hiring practices without having standardized processes and ad-hoc tools• Restrict themselves from much of the allowable and relevant information out there as Internet searches have only limited coverageThere is nothing wrong with rejecting a job candidate with personal characteristics that will result in poor or unsafe job performance. That is part of any HR organization’s mandate. However, when recruiters obtain such information through a social network, they are unable to ensure that all of the information they uncover will be job-relevant. Some of this information – gender and race, for example – would normally be obtained through a conventional job application or via a structured interview. But other information related to country of origin, religious preference, pregnancy, age, disability or sexual orientation might not. What if a recruiter, searching for evidence of drug use, finds that a candidate is a fan of the Facebook Page of Gay Rights or belongs to half a dozen groups for expecting mothers?
  • Disparate Impact The risks posed by the use of social networks in the hiring process begin at the front end, with sourcing, because the labor pool available through these networks does not reflect the demographics of the general population. For example, according to the media analytics firm Quantcast, only 5 percent of LinkedIn’s members are African American (vs. 12.8 percent of the total population) and only 2 percent are Hispanic (vs. 15.4 percent of the total population). It is easy to argue that sourcing via LinkedIn will have a disparate impact, and a similar case can be made for all the social networks.RELEVANCE:Companies using social media to recruit and screen candidates must ensure that the information they’re gaining from these website, whether direct or implied, is relevant to the job. For example, a company hiring a driver or a CFO may have a lower tolerance for potentially risky information found on a social media site than for another company hiring an individual in a role that has no access to company assets.
  • Since social network recruiting is so new, many businesses lack the understanding, guidance and policies regarding the proper (i.e. legal) use of these services when it comes to recruiting and hiring candidates. The good news is that because of social networking’s popularity, more and more companies are leading initiatives (often driven by HR, staffing and recruiting professionals) to develop standards and guidelines around the use of social networks to ensure their organizations are compliant and protected. And you, too, have the ability to help shape your company’s policy for recruiting and screening candidates using social networking sites. To help guide you in this endeavor, we suggest the following… 
  • There are services out there that:Enable employer to leverage value of Social Media without the riskProtect employer from allegations of discrimination and negligent hiringProtect applicant and employee privacyUse Social Media Background Checks through third party accredited vendors that: Conduct comprehensive searches, not limited to specific social networking sitesOnly obtain public, legally allowable informationDo not obtain or consider protected class information Ensure third party vendors:Enable the employer to leverage the value of social media without the risksProtect the employer from discrimination as well as negligent hiring and retention allegationsProtect job applicant and employee privacyReview information on message boards, comments on news articles, photo and video sharing sites
  • There are services out there that:Enable employer to leverage value of Social Media without the riskProtect employer from allegations of discrimination and negligent hiringProtect applicant and employee privacyUse Social Media Background Checks through third party accredited vendors that: Conduct comprehensive searches, not limited to specific social networking sitesOnly obtain public, legally allowable informationDo not obtain or consider protected class information Ensure third party vendors:Enable the employer to leverage the value of social media without the risksProtect the employer from discrimination as well as negligent hiring and retention allegationsProtect job applicant and employee privacyReview information on message boards, comments on news articles, photo and video sharing sites
  • Q:  After viewing this webcast, how likely is it that your company will consider using social media to screen candidates?  (a) We currently use social media for candidate screening (b) Highly likely, given enough information  (c) Probably in the next 6 months (d) We would never consider using social media screening
  • Embrace social media – given that its easy, ubiquitous and free. You can’t ignore it or you run the risk of making a negligent hire. That said, make sure you understand the potential legal issues before you incorporate it into your screening program. Understand the potential legal pitfalls.Seek advice from your screening provider or legal counsel before utilizing social media in your employment screening process Question whether the use of social networks is really necessary or whether an alternate approach can be consideredAvoid using these sites as your only screening tool (disparate impact)Keep detailed records that demonstrate your hiring decisions were based on screening practices so that they are more legally defensible should you ever get called into court by a potential applicant or employee. (compliance). As employers, we have the responsibility to protect our organizations and our employees.Go the extra mile to ensure your candidates are treated fairly by adhering to the same standards set forth by the FCRA (inclusive and fair/consistent to avoid disparate impact)
  • EEOC's outreach programs provide general information about the EEOC, its mission, the employment discrimination laws enforced by EEOC and the charge/complaint process. EEOC representatives are available on a limited basis at no cost to make presentations and participate in meetings, conferences and seminars with employee and employer groups, professional associations, students, non-profit entities, community organizations and other members of the general public.EEOC's Training InstituteThe Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency responsible for enforcing employment discrimination laws. The Training Institute provides a wide variety of training programs to help employers understand, prevent and correct discrimination in the workplace. Experience and learn from the authorities on EEO law. The FTC deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy.
  • Comprehensive Social Media Search Any user-generated content that is publically availableExecutive Social Media Search360 Degree view User + non-user generated content
  • Social Media Background Screening Webinar

    1. 1. Social Media Background Screening Speakers: Bill Glenn, VP, Marketing & Alliances, TalentWise Geoff Andrews, COO, Social Intelligence Corp
    2. 2. Introduction Bill Glenn Bill Glenn has been Vice President of Marketing and Alliances at TalentWise since 2008. He has more than 15 years of experience in the technology industry, holding senior marketing management and business development positions. TalentWise helps companies of all sizes and across all industries screen and hire the most qualified candidates while reducing their time-to-hire, improving compliance and lowering cost. Geoff Andrews As co-founder and COO of Social Intelligence Corp., Geoff Andrews oversees client and partner management and business operations, as well as sales and marketing. Previously, Andrews was a director and an original member of Steel Card, playing a key role in the company’s development and success, and a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Social Intelligence offers social media screening and investigative services including employment background checks, insurance claims investigations, corporate due diligence and government services, helping organizations leverage the benefits of social media research while reducing costs, time and legal risks. Joe Gerard Joe Gerard is the VP of Sales & Marketing at i-Sight, a leading provider of web-based case management software for corporate investigations. He’s worked with companies like Dell, Coke, Allstate, BP and more than 100 others to implement improved investigative processes that leverage best practices and case management.
    3. 3. Legal DisclaimerThis presentation is intended for general information only and not as legal advice. You should not rely on the information for any legal purpose, and contact your attorney to determine applicability to your situation.TalentWise disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any contents of this presentation.
    4. 4. Agenda• Social Media defined• Common pitfalls of internal, ad hoc searches• Allowable content• Legal implications• Implementing Social Media screening
    5. 5. Definitions• Social Media noun ˈsō -shəl -ˈmē-dē-ə – Forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)
    6. 6. DefinitionsSocial Media: Any form of user generated content on the Internet
    7. 7. Definitions Social media recruiting vs. social media screening Social Media Screening Social Media Recruiting• Viewing social media profiles • Initiate search, source candidate including LinkedIn and Facebook • Takes company brand, image• Reading candidate blogs into consideration• Googling a candidate • Promoting jobs via social media including LinkedIn or Facebook pages
    8. 8. Polling QuestionDoes Your Company Use Social Media Sites to Screen Candidates?
    9. 9. On the Rise – 90% of companies use social networks as part of their employment screening process – Growth of LinkedIn, FB, Twitter, Google+ 130M 450M 462M 490M 845M 49M
    10. 10. Googling Candidates?• Common pitfalls of internal, ad hoc searches – No formal policies or protocols in place – Must be compliant with FCRA – Need Consumer Consent! – Multiple online identities – Matching to the CORRECT online identity
    11. 11. Polling Question When Screening a Candidate, What Types of Online Information is Deemed Allowable to Collect?
    12. 12. What’s Not Allowable?• Online content which is deemed irrelevant or unallowable – According to Title VII, the ADA, GINA, and ADEA, protected classes include: • age • sex • religion • disability
    13. 13. What IS Allowable? Relevant and allowable online content Negative Positive• Illegal behavior, including illicit • Contributions to leading drug use industry blogs and sites• Potentially violent activity • Participation in volunteer or• Racist or discriminatory philanthropic groups tendencies • Improvements to corporate• Corporate image image disparagement• Sexually explicit material
    14. 14. Implications• Leads to implications such as: – Discrimination – Adverse Action – Privacy • No Reasonable expectation of privacy when posting publicly available information – Authenticity
    15. 15. Puts HR in a Catch 22 Companies need to think about how and why they are using social media
    16. 16. Must Haves• Social media background checks must be: – Inclusive – search every applicant • Disparate Impact – Fair and consistent • Search same sites for every applicant • Search and report the same types of information • Use the same independent people to search – Legally defensible • Documentation and tracking responsibilities
    17. 17. How do you incorporate social media into your pre-employment screening process?
    18. 18. Must Do’s – Seek advice from legal counsel – Thoroughly train HR and Managers on company social media policy – Keep up to date on all the latest court rulings and potential social media liabilities – Only obtain legally allowable information; Do not obtain or consider protected class information RELIGION GENDER RACE CLASS AGE
    19. 19. Must Do’s – Keep detailed records – Appoint a non-decision maker to conduct online searches – Use a variety of screening methods – Conduct comprehensive searches, not limited to specific social networking sites ≠ ALL Social Media
    20. 20. Polling QuestionHow Likely Is Your Company To Use Social Media for Screening Candidates?
    21. 21. In Closing • Embrace social media! • Seek advice • Keep detailed records • Go the extra mile to ensure your candidates are treated fairly
    22. 22. For More Information• EEOC – No-cost outreach programs • Phone: 800-699-4000 • Email: – EEOC Training institute • Phone: 703-291-0880 • Email:• FCRA and FTC • Phone: 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) • Email:
    23. 23. SolutionsTalentWise offers the following social media screening solutions: Comprehensive Social Media Executive Social Media Search Search • Both user-generated content • All user-generated content on and non-user generated content the web on the web • Social media activity and • Social media content activity, content, and media outlets
    24. 24. Thank You! If you have any questions, please submit them now. Thank you for taking the time to attend today’s webinar. If you have any questions about the information covered in the webinar, please contact: Joe Gerard Bill Glenn Geoff