Be Careful Out There
Human Resource Executive Magazine interviewed Chicago attorney Peter Gillespie for the article "Be Careful Out There." The article noted that searching the online activity of promising job candidates is a good screening tool for HR and hiring managers, but it can also lead to legal issues. Two states have recently passed laws banning employers from asking job candidates and employees for passwords to their social-network profiles. Other states are considering similar legislation. For companies that want to learn more about their job candidates' online activity without risking a lawsuit, using a third party to filter this information can be a solution. But Peter advises employers to proceed with caution: "Once you use a third party for this, you become subject to the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Get authorization from the candidate first, and ensure you're getting a very limited report of what the person is doing." He also noted that these vendors only give red flag reports,' which detail activity that would most likely be undesirable in the workplace.