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Hiring managers say they check candidates’ social media for age, political activity

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Dive Brief:

  • Nearly 75% of hiring managers responding to a recent survey said they check applicants’ social media, June 12 results from ResumeBuilder.com show.
  • The majority said they aim to obtain answers to questions they can’t ask job candidates; managers said they most often look for a worker’s age, political activity, gender identity and marital status.
  • Managers were largely split on whether they tend to pass on candidates based on their information found online.

Dive Insight:

The survey findings may indicate a need for training for hiring managers.

Some of those responding to the survey (41%) said the practice of looking at candidates’ social media is “definitely” acceptable at their company. Slightly fewer said they believed it was acceptable. Only 6% said they believed it was unacceptable and only 2% said they know it is; 14% said they were unsure.

While social media can play a useful role in the hiring process, it’s up to HR to devise standards for its use and train hiring managers on those standards, sources previously told HR Dive.

One management-side attorney recommended HR screen candidates’ social media and insist that hiring managers refrain from doing so. That way, the person checking social media for serious red flags — hate speech, for example — isn’t the person making the hiring decision, he explained; such safeguards can help keep protected factors like age and religion out of the hiring process.

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