Social Networking - Protecting Your Company

The use of social networking is on the steady rise, and especially by employers during pre-employment screening and after hire. It isn’t highly recommended that hiring managers actually use social networks to pre-screen a candidate for employment, however, if so compelled, by following a few simple steps, you can protect yourself and your company from obtaining information that cannot be lawfully taken into consideration in the hiring process.

 

  • Use the networks consistently, check the same sites for each candidate
  • Have another person pre-screen the public network for you and ask them to filter out any protected class information that is inappropriate for decision makers to consider.
  • Don’t “add” your applicants to your network in an effort to access their non-public (privatized) information.
  • Create a policy statement that indicates that abuse of social media can be grounds for discipline, up to and including termination
  • Expressly prohibit the disclosure of confidential and proprietary information and trade secrets
  • Expressly prohibit the use of company logos and trademarks off their blogs and profiles except by express written consent from the company
  • Expressly prohibit employees from posting status updates or blogs during business hours unless for business purposes authorized by the company

 

These are some simple actions you can take to protect yourself and your company from liability when making employment decisions based off information found on social networking sites.

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