Ethics in Using the Internet as a Part of Pre-Employment Screening

A trend growing inside the business world and market place today, to use search engines and social media networking sites as a part of pre-employment screening program, Employers are always the ones who are responsible for the actions and incidents that their employees may make and they want to know information about them as much as possible before investing money, time and training required to merge them into their respective companies.

ethics-980x505Nearly half of the resumes submitted to employers contain factual errors, so it is understandable why employers conduct pre-employment screening as a side of caution. And employment fraud and theft cost retail business billions of dollars every year and companies spend 2 million dollars every year from workplace violence incidents. Negligent hiring lawsuits are rising against companies and employers when their employees commit workplace violence, which increased the necessity for employers to conduct pre-employment screening on potential employees and some of the companies have gone to the conclusion to go to the internet to find all the information available of their applicants. But even if it is important for companies and employer to know the people they are about to hire, it is very unethical to depend on information just sitting on the internet as a part of pre-employment screening when deciding which applicant to hire.

Pre-employment Screening

Background checks are generally for criminal records, drug screening verifying employment and education backgrounds and resume accuracy. But in 2006 a lot of employers started to use background checks as pre-employment screening to verify employment history.71 percent of employers are conducting pre-employment screening which resulted to the Fair Credit Report Act to lay down a law that will require employers to send notifications and permissions of the applicant in question to get access to their information. Although information is easily found on the internet, social networking and search engine results doesn’t generally focus on this information.

Social Media Networking Sites

At least 26 percent of hiring managers and employers have used search engines to research the profiles of their potential applicants while 12 percent said that they have used social media networking websites. Facebook is one of the common sites used for these searches as a part of their pre-employment screening, Facebook is a social media site that originally limited to the college community but now it has been open for the public, while Facebook has a lot of different controls which allows any user to limit or block the viewing of their own profiles, a lot of users are not taking advantage of these features leaving them vulnerable to public searches conducted by employers.

Consequences of Searching the Internet

At least half of the applicants are on result of search engines and two-thirds are on social media sites that declined employment because of the information found on their profiles on the said sites. Other than theses said concerns, these websites are not valid and it is not verified of the information found is the true identity of the applicant responsible. There is no personal connection when employers scan through the profiles of their potential applicant in the internet unlike the interview process, and the chance there was a misuse of the information or it was taken out of context.

Discrimination, accepted all over the world as unethical even if it is unconsciously done. Judging the book by its cover is wrong that may lead to receive incorrect and irrelevant information. Applicants are not accepted from jobs that they can exceed and be successful at. By using information from the internet as a part of pre-employment screening to screen out potential applicants which makes companies act unethically by denying them opportunities to talk and get to know them personally based on information that has little bearing of their abilities to succeed at the job offered.

For more information about pre-employment screening, feel free to visit or contact (800) 409 -1819



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