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Can you request to see a picture of the candidate or google search them before you interview them?

Most employers conduct a Google or Facebook search when making hiring decisions.

As a small business employer, we get that many of you build this search into your screening process but how do you make sure you are not violating discrimination laws?

In today’s online world, almost 80% of employers take it upon themselves to conduct their due diligence when finding a perfect fit for their organisations. This includes checking for red flags on public search engines. These red flags can include; a candidate bad mouthing their former employer, partying too hard or lying about work history and qualifications.

Ok, but let’s say that you conducted a search and found that a candidate is of a certain race or gender, has certain religious beliefs, is expecting a child, or is disabled in some way; you may indirectly discriminate against them because of these factors, which is illegal under EEO laws.

You need to make sure you are hiring the right person to do the job, so ask yourself, is what they look like actually linked to their ability to do the job? Is what you learn about them on social media going to affect their performance in the role, or, lead you to make a discriminatory decision? Can you defend your decision to not hire them if it came down to it?

Here at HR Gurus, we agree that you need to do everything necessary to make the best decision about finding the right person for the job, but we recommend that if you do a Google or social media search, that you take EEO laws seriously and not make bias decisions based on discriminatory reasons.

If you are unsure, we are here to help. Call HR gurus on 1300 959 560 where our qualified and experienced team can help guide you through any questions you might have.

Written by Resident Recruitment Guru Tracy Collins

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