During the ten years that Will Barada has served as Vice President of Barada Associates, he’s shown tireless dedication wearing every hat from chief operating officer to director of business development. Through these efforts he’s helped grow the family business into an industry leading background screening company. His accomplishments were culminated in 2008 when he negotiated for the purchase of full ownership of the business from the original founding partners.

Prior to joining the family business, Will served in Community Outreach for WFYI Indianapolis, the local PBS affiliate.

Will earned his BA in English Education from Indiana University and is a member of National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) and the Indianapolis chapter of the Society of Human resource Professionals (SHRM).

Increasingly employers are going to places like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn to check out candidates.

If you’re spending a lot of money on a hire, you want every available piece of info. So social media seems a natural place to search, right? Be careful. You need practices and processes in place to protect yourself from retribution by the candidate if you chose not to hire them based on information you find on their sites. With routine background screens, the hiring manager is able to consider multiple factors based on criteria and job requirements not just skills and work ethic but also personality and so forth. Having access to a cross-section of data prevents a hiring manager from depending too much on one single piece of information. The problem from a CRA perspective with using data gained from social media sites is that there is no way to resolve a dispute if a candidate should claim misinformation.

For instance, if a court check comes back with a criminal activity and the candidate argues wrong identification, we can help facilitate the correction of that information at the court level and have the event removed from candidate’s record (if it was wrong). Drug testing results are verifiable because of the chain of custody required to complete the test. But if a candidate complains about not getting a job because of pictures on their Facebook page, there is no way to confirm or deny their identity (despite what some of you may have seen on TV). Facebook isn’t a verifiable source of information and that is where the problem lies.

Further, this presents a serious EEOC issue as Facebook postings don’t tell you anything about their ability to perform the job as described in the requisition.
Somewhere, somebody is going to make a no hire decision because of a picture of a candidate drinking beer on Facebook. Thus far there is no precedent yet but something will happen. Do you want to be the example case in the future when a company gets sued for this?
Protect yourself by putting a process in place and if you chose to use these tools, be aware of the risks and check with your attorney.