Checking a Candidate’s Social Media Platform
One of the easiest ways to find out more about a candidate is through their social media but this doesn’t mean it’s as easy as just checking their timeline – employer’s need to be increasingly aware of the candidates’ legal rights.
For this reason, employer’s need to be mindful when trailing through a candidate’s social media platform and they must inform the candidate they’ll be doing this. Due to GDPR employers need to be aware that they cannot store data as evidence for extended periods of time and that any data they do store the candidate can request access to.
When reviewing a candidate’s social media feed, it is assumed you will know their gender, religion and their political views, you MUST make sure you don’t stray away from your usual line of interview questions, based on the information you sought on social media. You do not want to come across as discriminative or biased.
Therefore, the best time to look at a candidate’s social media is AFTER the face to face meeting, this way you will have a better understanding of the candidate and will less likely be accused of discriminatory behaviour if you choose not to hire.
You need to be sure to conduct the same research, at the same point of the process, for each applicant. This is another way to ensure you’re following the same interview process for everyone, regardless of their background.
It’s also best to keep in mind that what you see on social media isn’t always true, a lot of people hide behind a façade on these platforms and to judge them solely based on a one off statement, or a picture, could suggest you’re in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to a private and family life). That being said, if they do consistently post things that concern you it may be your decision not to take them to the next level of the interview process.
As GDPR allows candidates who request a subject access report all information held on them you need to ensure you document all aspects of your research and the interview process.
There are a lot of things to consider during the hiring process, and we always have to be mindful of the legal implications of any research we do. If you would like a confidential discussion on your hiring needs please be in touch with me on 01452 429901 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org