It’s coming. As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, it is coming. The US has become an incredibly litigious society in the last 20 years or so. Remember the lady who sue McDonald’s because the coffee she bought was hot, and burned her? And about 100 other similar cases over time? Well folks, soon they will be attacking recruitment practices on social media (SM) sites. Mark my words.
As Jessica Lee highlighted this in her most recent Fistful of Talent post, there are concerns that lawsuits may rise because of the rise in recruiting on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace.
Now I’ve been saying for sometime, that we’re just in the waiting period before the first company gets hit with a discrimination suit after recruiting on a SM site. Not because it is an inherently bad practice, but because it is a wide open target. From my perspective, I’m a bit leery of actively recruiting off of SM sites, not because I think it’s bad, but more because I don’t want to be the first to get hit. Our team uses a more passive approach on these sites, to divulge information about the company and it’s openings, and to formulate more of a circular recruiting approach to drive traffic back to our company site. In this way, we’re using the site for a recruitment purpose, but not necessarily sourcing off of there, per se. I recently hired someone off of Twitter (our 1st off of there), but it was someone who reached out to us, after seeing some tweets we put out there, and having viewed our career site, hence circular recruitment.
But as Jessica puts it, and as I’ve seen it in other posts out there, SM CANNOT be your only method of recruitment. Sure, if you are seeking people with SM backgrounds or certain creative skill sets, these might be a strong source for you, but hopefully you are supplementing this with other sources. You’ve got to cast a wide net to source and identify the best of the best out there, and one or two sites won’t get you there.
The ambulance chasers will always find something to file a suit against, and people will always look for a way to get rich quick at someone else’s expense. But a well thought out, and well rounded approach to your recruiting will hopefully guard you from any frivolous accusations. You should be taking an active look at your process, and evaluate where you might have any risk exposure.