Some of these are:
* Sexual Orientation
* Health Information
* Family Status
To be safe, if an employer wants to utilize social media in their recruiting processes, they should designate "an in-house 'checker' who does not play any other role in the hiring process". This person would be responsible for searching specified sites before a candidate is hired. The checker, when they find information on a potential employee, should verify that what they have found pertains to the right person (i.e. not one of the many other Mike Brandt's out there). As well, if access is not easily granted to view the desired data, false pretenses should not be used to gain it. An example of this would be creating a fake profile and befriending someone in order to see their webpage.
A list of search criteria should be made prior to searching, so that a conscious effort to stay away from protected status information can be made. Checkers should report back on only the things listed as "safe". It is crucial to educate employees in this capacity to ensure they are knowledgeable of statuses considered protected. With the long list of concerns, the question could be posed, "Should you choose not to look at all?"
I suggest you do look, in order to safeguard your company, however, proceed with caution. Things the checker should report on are:
* An applicant claiming education on their resume that they do not have
* Positions an applicant was terminated from
* Crimes the applicant was convicted of
* Proof that the applicant is disrespectful, violent, or degrading to other persons
While Belin McCormick provides extremely useful guidelines on this topic, they warn that a few states, such as New York, have protections for employees' lawful recreational or political off-duty conduct. Be sure to check the laws in your state before using ANY information, whether regarding a protected class or not, against a potential candidate.
About the Author, Jimmy Hurff
Jimmy is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for leading business transformations. Over his 25+ year career, Jimmy has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of engineering, data analytics, security, compliance & business transformation. Starting in 1995, Jimmy worked with his best friend, David Webb, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. From then to now, Jimmy has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.