Avoiding Lawsuits in a Social Networking World: What Employers Need to Know About Using Social Media in the Hiring Process

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Employment background screening industry expert, Angela Bosworth, J.D. and Executive Vice President of OPENonline, presents the legal challenges of vetting candidates via social networks at upcoming conferences

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Angela Bosworth, J.D. and EVP of OPENonline

...it's become apparent that many professionals in the industry are unclear about the legal implications of using social networking in a candidate screening and recruiting context.

OPENonline’s Executive Vice President, Angela Bosworth, J.D., will present at the College & University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) Annual Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida on September 25 and at the Northwest Human Resource Management Association (NHRMA) 2011 Conference & Tradeshow on October 6 in Bellevue, Washington.

In her presentations, "How Much Information is TMI: Screening your Applicants in a Social Networking World” and "Screening your Applicants in a Social Networking World: A Legal Update," respectively, Bosworth will discuss the right and wrong way to utilize top sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in the employment background screening process.

“Social media has generated a lot of buzz and confusion in the HR world, raising unanswered questions and placing new hiring practices under the spotlight,” said Bosworth. “With employment law constantly in flux and social media being such a new phenomenon, it’s become apparent that many professionals in the industry are unclear about the legal implications of using social networking in a candidate screening and recruiting context. “

A survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com found that 45 percent of employers researched a potential candidate on social networking sites. Of those surveyed, 35 percent found content that caused them not to hire the candidate with the same percentage claiming it was because of bad-mouthing a previous employer, co-worker or client. The same survey found that 53 percent of employers did not hire someone based on photographs they deemed provocative/inappropriate.

“Employers are turning to the web as a quick and easy way to learn more about candidates on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other popular social networks,” said Bosworth. “ In doing so, employers need to understand potential risks of discrimination, questionable accuracy, and privacy breaches.”

Bosworth brings over twenty years as a licensed attorney and over ten years of experience in the background screening industry to her position at OPENonline. Her extensive experience includes employment law, governmental affairs, compliance best practices, and policy initiatives. She is a frequent speaker on issues involving employment law, Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance, Title VII, privacy, social media in the workplace, and many of the legal challenges that employers face in hiring employees and maintaining a safe and productive workplace. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), ASIS International, and the Ohio State and Columbus Bar Associations.

About OPENonline

Accredited by the NAPBS Background Screening Credentialing Council, OPENonline is a leading provider of background screening and investigative solutions. OPENonline offers a broad range of employment screening, drug screening and employment eligibility verification services, including SelectHire®, a one stop solution for employment screening. The company is dedicated to helping customers save time and money by providing background information that is current, accurate and compliant with exceptional customer service. For more information, visit http://www.OPENonline.com or call 1-800-935-6736.

Follow us at all our upcoming events @backgroundpros:

ASIS International Annual Seminar & Exhibits (Sept. 20): #ASIS2011
2011 Ohio HR Conference (Sept. 21- 23): #OHSHRM or #OHSHRM11
CUPA-HR Annual Conference & Expo 2011 (Sept. 25): #cupahr2011
NHRMA 2011 Conference & Tradeshow (Oct. 5- 7): #NHRMA11


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Taylor Johnson
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