While the applications of recruiting on social media are growing at exponential rates it is also important to be cautious with the precise ways in which you use the media. There are still undefined legal gray areas when it comes to searching Facebook, or the internet in general, to dig up potential dirt on candidates. Here are some things you should take into consideration before you head to Google with a resume in hand before making your next hiring decision.

In this article from Business Insider, attorney Jason Shinn shares some insight on the process of reviewing candidate information on social media as a way to determine hireablitiy.

He believes that social media is part of the stable of technology that employers should use before making a hiring decision but that it is important to understand the pitfalls.

“However, this research comes with plenty of risks, says Shinn. He advises implementing “a written policy that clearly spells out what information or sites will be reviewed, who will conduct the review, and what records will be maintained.”

Such a policy is advisable, according to Shinn, in the event that a candidate is rejected after being researched online.”

Employment laws in place to protect candidates from discrimination may be violated based on the information that is discovered through social media. Shinn also suggests assigning the task to someone who is not part of the decision making process so they can pass only applicable information on to the hiring manager.

In 2012 there was some controversy as news sites reported that companies were requiring candidates to provide the passwords to their private social media pages. Facebook themselves made a statement against this practice and HR law experts began to recommend against it.

As an agency recruiter it is important that you are aware not only of the consequences of your actions but also those of your client companies. After you submit a resume for their review they may take it upon themselves to Google the applicant without any protections in place for privacy. It may be your job as their customer service representative or account manager to educate them on the legal implications of conducting their own research without your consent or that of your employee.

There are tools that can help you manage social media recruiting and reference checking all on ONE platform. A WorkScene Page allows you to build a private talent community and keep all of your resources, resumes and top candidates in one place limiting the possibility of any unnecessary searching google for candidate information. Sign up for a WorkScene Page TODAY to begin building your private talent community.