New advice on hiring employees has emphasised some of the problems that can arise through insufficient recruitment practices.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has sought to make the recruitment process clearer and easier for employers via the publication of some helpful advice, which has been revised to incorporate the growing use of the internet as a vetting tool.
‘Pre-employment checks: an employer’s guide’ has been designed specifically to help those ‘who are struggling to keep up with the pace of change in recruitment methods’, onrec.com reports. It has highlighted how searching online and using information from social media profiles can unfairly impact an individual’s application if not used properly.
As such, the guidance asserts the importance of taking the same amount of care when searching online as would be required for carrying out paper-based or face-to-face referencing.
It also states how vital it is for recruiters to make the distinction between profiles that are personal and those that are ‘professional’, i.e. not allowing a decision to be influenced by information that has nothing to do with the applicant’s ability to do the job.
Additionally, hrmagazine.co.uk adds, the CIPD says that it’s best practice to inform candidates when an online search is to be performed; currently, many applicants are unaware.
This point is vital as the failure to validate information gleaned on the internet – to give candidates the chance to respond – can lead to discrimination and consequently legal risks.
Speaking about the guidance, CIPD employment law adviser, Mike Emmott said: “There’s an increasing public recognition of the need for employers to adopt practices that are both legal and ethical when conducting pre-employment checks.
“It’s important that employers take an active approach to researching an applicant’s background to avoid problems further down the line.”