Is Using Social Media For Hiring Discriminatory?

Posted October 28, 2016 by Mary McGinley

Concerns have been raised by the EEOC about the use of big data when employers make hiring decisions. At issue is whether or not the use of social media may have an impact on protected classes or groups of job seekers.

Jon Hyman, a partner at Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis in Cleveland in an article on the Workforce website explains the concept of disparate impact, “A disparate impact claim involves an employment practice that is neutral on its face, but, as applied and to a statistical significance, it falls more harshly on one group over another. It has significant implications in race and sex discrimination claims.”

Hyman believes that the EEOC really has no need to investigate the issue at all. If a potential employer is using a social media website such as LinkedIn, for example, in order to recruit potential candidates, it is not impacting one race or sex over another.

The Pew Research Center agrees with him.

Of course, the EEOC also looked at other areas in order to see if there was any cause for concern regarding the use of big data in recruiting by employers and HR professionals. Hyman certainly gives praise to the federal agency for thinking to look for potential areas of discrimination where it might lead but expects that in the end nothing will be found.

We know how important it is for small to medium-sized companies to be able to attract, recruit and retain the best candidate for the positions you need to be filled. Often using social media and big data comes into play to gather information about candidates.

That’s why at Einstein HR, we will be there to help you find the best candidate and help you in crafting job advertisements and getting the word out.  We can help you to review all qualified candidates for the positions you need to fill while complying with EEOC regulations.

Hiring a qualified candidate is an investment of both time and money.  We can help ensure that you get the most for your money and improve your chances of getting just the right candidate for the job. Contact us today at 770-962-1700 to find out how we can help.