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With regards to the last couple of questions, employers received some clarification via the National Labor Review Board’s (NLRB) recent decisions on social media policies in the workplace.
Unfortunately for talent management professionals, there has yet to be any such federal guidance on social media for a critical HR function like hiring. That said, a majority of employers do actively use social media as part of their recruiting function. The practice is even more entrenched at larger employers (500+ employees), with 73% utilizing social media sites for talent acquisition. When it comes to social media background screening, however, employers tend to be much more cautious. Far and away, Facebook is the most popular site for employers using social media for background screening, with 83% incorporating it into their employment screening process.

At least part of this reluctance is not just due to the lack of clear regulatory or case law guidance on the practice, but can also be attributed to employers wanting to steer clear of thorny issues like discrimination and invasions of privacy.
Given these concerns, HireRight asked the employers who were using social media as part of their background screening effort if they have a company policy to govern the process. Without any guidelines governing how social media background screening is conducted, what information can be used in the hiring decision, and how to verify information, organizations risk exposing themselves to a variety of potential liabilities and may be inappropriately limiting their candidate pool based on subjective criteria. As adoption rates of social media continue to cross generational boundaries and new sites emerge, employers are struggling to remain ahead of the curve and better define how their organizations use social media.
Therefore, employers are still not entirely certain about social media’s role in the process.
In HireRight’s 2013 Employment Screening Benchmarking Report, 54% of respondents indicated that they use social media for recruiting, with another 7% planning to do so.

The data indicate a slight growth from 2012, when 50% of respondents indicated they use social media for recruiting.
Only 14% of respondents to the survey reported that they use social media for background screening purposes, with 7% planning to do so. LinkedIn (68%) and Google+ (32%) were the second and third most popular sites, respectively.
The numbers indicate a marginally declining year-over-year trend, since in 2012, 15% of employers were using social media for background screening and 9% were planning to do so.

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