The Hiring Process


Social Network Websites Use in the Hiring Process


     Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram provides a wealth of information about individuals. Information is provided by individuals and this information can include private information protected by US federal laws.  There additional information also available made by individuals, who use their own identities, about many other topics that can influence a hiring manager or recruiters’ decision to hire or recommend hiring individuals in the economy. A simple google search of one’s own name can reveal the type of information most employers or recruiters can access as well. This paper is written against the use of social media networks site in the hiring process. Several reasons exist that support the non-use when considering hiring individuals.

     As Kluemper (2009) explains, “employers have begun to tap into this information as a source of applicant data in an effort to improve hiring decisions”. A result of study by Katherine Karl (2009) found that negative work-related attitudes and drug use were considered more relevant in hiring decisions than information related to sexual activities, alcohol use and profanity. This presents the possibility of disparate treatment. This is a discrimination theory that states different treatment is giving to individuals based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, are, or disability (Noe, 2017). Considering this theory, a negative work attitude or possible dug use can be protected information under federal law. As an example, a negative-work attitude could be voiced by an elder person who was not given an interview due to age or a chronic alcoholic who can qualify for disability benefits, under certain standards. Another problem is interpretation of written words is different for everyone (Donald H. Kluemper, 2009). Given these few examples a company can experience legal problems that can consume resources intended for future growth. Using in formation available on Social networks and google searches is a source of determining a personality but is not reliable and credible enough to use in hiring decisions. A serious implication is that many accounts are “fake”, as people and organizations can pose as others and provide false results about personality and other attributes. If companies, choose to use information obtained through social network sites and google searches several protocols should be considered before eliminating potential candidates for employment.

The Hiring Process

      The hiring process protocols should be appropriate and legal when using social media information. Using information that eliminates applicants based on social networks website comments, posts and photo sharing could be grounds for legal actions against companies and recruiters. Before inviting the candidate for an interview, they should be informed that a SNW (Social Network Website) search is going to be performed.  A SNWs are designed to connect users to each other and to visually display each individual’s network of friends (Donald H. Kluemper, 2009). This can be done before an interview is accepted by an applicant so they are aware of the interpretation that may be made on information shared by themselves with the public.  The ramifications of viewing social media profiles at different steps in the process will produce rater errors and eliminate potential assets for a company. These can include legal problems for a company as statements made on SNWs have not been found to credible or reliable sources of information.

Ethical Consideration

      The information gathered from social media must be reliable and valid in terms of being a predictor of job performance and personality.  Karl (2009) reveals a study done by career that 19% of hiring companies eliminated candidates from further consideration because they had hiring manager or recruiter have the sole discretion of interpreting data available on any applicants.  This presents ramifications for employers as the chances of having an adverse impact on an individual increase when using SNWs to influence and determine a candidate’s qualifications. Adverse impact is another discrimination theory that occurs when a facially neutral employment practice disproportionally excludes a protected group, like women and minorities, from employment opportunities (Noe, 2017).


     Determining a “good fit” for any organization presents issues on how to design the hiring process and what information will be utilized to determine an applicant’s inclusion in a job interview. These screening process for interview applicants can be conducted by hiring managers and recruiters who have broad decisions making in determining personalities. In today society SNWs are increasingly being used to screen out potential applicants. If an applicant is aware that employees are using SNW’s to determine attributes, this may lead to legal implications. Using a social media platform or information obtained in a search engine are not considered a reliable and credible source to gain information on potential employees but also can violate rights of protected groups in society. Until there is a more positive way to measure potential employees SNW’s do bear enough credibility and reliability to be used to screen out applicants in the workplace.


Donald H. Kluemper, P. A. (2009). Future employment selection methods: evaluating social networking web sites. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 567-580.

Katherine Karl, J. P. (2009). Facebook Follies: Who Suffers the Most? Ebsco Publishing.

Noe, H. G. (2017). Human Resource Mangement: Gaining a Competative Advantage. New York: McGraw Hill Education.

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