多年来，似乎越来越多的雇主正在转向社交媒体，以此作为更多地了解他们的求职者的一种方式。事实上，像 Facebook 这样的社交网络让雇主以前所未有的方式了解未来员工的生活。只需将他们的互联网浏览器指向求职者的 Facebook 个人资料，雇主就可以了解求职者的生活和对待他人的方式。他们说一张照片值 1000 字，而在 Facebook 上，一张不合适的照片相册——再加上一两个粗俗的状态——可以告诉雇主他们需要知道的关于一个不符合他们尊重形象的申请人的一切和受人尊敬的员工。
尽管如此，尽管社交媒体资料可能会增加就业筛选程序，但越来越多的雇主似乎选择不进行“社交媒体背景调查”的想法。事实上，似乎 2014 年可能是社交媒体背景调查几乎完全退出的一年。
这种转变有很多原因：首先，EEOC 从未对社交媒体账户被用于就业筛选目的感到非常满意。Facebook 页面可以让就业经理访问他们不应该拥有的信息，包括申请人的宗教、种族、政治派别或性取向。通过披露这些信息，社交媒体背景调查可能成为助长歧视和阻碍平等就业机会的工具。通过使用社交媒体进行背景调查，雇主可能会因违反 EEOC 反歧视规则而面临潜在的诉讼。
其次，许多州政府已经停止在全国许多地方进行社交媒体背景调查。8 月，俄勒冈州确保社交媒体账户不受就业筛选程序的限制。一个月前，内华达州和科罗拉多州都颁布了类似的措施来规范或禁止使用社交媒体背景调查。很可能会有更多的州在 2014 年效仿他们自己的立法。
For years, it has seemed as if more and more employers were turning toward social media as a means of learning more about their applicants. And indeed, social networks like Facebook have given employers windows into the lives of their prospective employees like never before. By simply directing their Internet browser to an applicant’s Facebook profile, an employer can see how an applicant lives his or her life and treats other people. They say that a picture is worth 1,000 words, and on Facebook, an album of inappropriate photos – combined with a vulgar status or two – can tell an employer everything they need to know about an applicant who doesn’t fit their image of a respectful and respectable employee.
Still, despite the possibilities that social media profiles add to the employment screening procedure, more and more employers seem to be opting out of the idea of doing a “social media background check.” In fact, it’s beginning to look as if 2014 may be the year that social media background checks almost entirely exit the picture.
There are a number of reasons for this shift: first of all, the EEOC has never been terribly comfortable with social media accounts being used for employment screening purposes. A Facebook page can give an employment manager access to information that they are not supposed to have, including an applicant’s religion, race, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. By revealing these pieces of information, social media background checks can become a tool for proliferating discrimination and hindering equal employment opportunity. By using social media for background checks, employers open themselves up to potential lawsuits for breaching EEOC anti-discrimination rules.
Secondly, numerous state governments have already put a stop to social media background checks in numerous spots around the country. In August, Oregon made sure that social media accounts were off limits for employment screening procedures. A month earlier, both Nevada and Colorado enacted similar measures to regulate or ban the use of social media background checks. It’s likely that more states will follow suit with their own legislation throughout 2014.
Finally, after years of hearing about how unprofessional social media activity could lose them a job, most job hunters have wised up and started implementing privacy measures to keep prying eyes away from their social media accounts. In many cases, employers who want to run a social media background check don’t even have the option to do so, thanks to privacy settings that lock them out of the accounts of job applicants.
All of these factors, both legal and otherwise, have led most hiring managers to shift away from using social media in employment screening. Instead, employers are opting to focus once more on traditional background checks, such as the products offered through backgroundchecks.com. From criminal searches to sex offender registry perusals, from professional and academic history verifications to drug screenings, employers can still learn plenty of information about their applicants through the classic background screening standards that have been used for years.