Privacy. Security of job applicant data

Social media is here to stay…and with that, the caveat has been stressed over and over again, be careful what you put on social media, especially when you are job seeking. More often than not, people don’t mind that their prospective boss has access to pics of them drinking/drunk at a party. The big worry, that colleagues will find out they are looking for a new gig, and that is the second most secretive thing we keep from nearly everyone, the first being financial means.

To be sensitive to a potential candidate’s privacy, here are some things to consider: be highly discrete in voicemail messages, avoid calling their work line (unless that’s the number they gave you – awkward.) Be respectful of their time away from their current job. We’ve all be through an interview process that required more than two in-person interviews. When you are currently employed, the reasons for needing time off from work get harder and harder to make up. Set up one major interview to ensure all bases are covered on your end and they have met with the right staff members. Avoid multiple call back interviews for a job you don’t offer them – highly annoying and can jeopardize their current job with the demand for time away.

Diligent employers will take every action legally available to them to screen potential candidates prior to offering them employment. The resume only gives you a sparse glimpse into a person’s life; social media can fill in the gaps. Regarding privacy rights, current employees have more than prospective employees according to Judge Henry J. Friendly who noted in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review “there is a difference between losing what one has and getting what one wants.”

Some rules to follow regarding “background checking”:

  • Narrow down what information you wish to glean from “researching” potential clients. Remember you can’t discriminate based on religion, sexual orientation, relationship status, disability, gender, race etc. the list goes on and on and if it was ever found out that you discriminated against a potential employee, it will not bode well for you or the company.
  • Background checks, in the official sense, are different. Military, medical, financial, criminal, judicial etc. are top of mind when someone tells us they are going to do a background check on us. However, the term can be loosely interpreted and social media could be scoured and be, technically, within the realms of a background check.

This is an evolving landscape and it’s important to stay current on the latest news and laws when screening prospective clients; terribly important to ensure your HR department has the most up-to-date knowledge on the laws in your area. Avalon Staffing Solutions prides itself on maintaining the highest-level privacy for their employees while continuously placing top talent for their clients. To navigate this terrain safely and confidently, contact Avalon Staffing Solutions.