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The role of social media risk assessments in your employment process

According to the 2018 CareerBuilder survey 70% of companies globally make use of social media screening when considering the suitability of a candidate. Sadly some companies still believe that “Facebook Stalking” an individual is sufficient to give you the information required before making THAT hire.

The below statistics are gathered from the social media risk assessments that iFacts has conducted over the past two years. The results we have achieved have required an in-depth analysis of not only what is on an individual’s public profile but also the information that is shared or commented on.

As with all employee screening tools a company needs to be aware of the legal issues surrounding the checks and the regulation that everyone must pay attention to in South Africa is the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) and the following should be part of any employee screening policy.

• The applicant must be informed that his or her personal information is being collected;
• The applicant must consent to the processing of his or her personal information; and
• The record of personal information may not be kept for longer than necessary for achieving the purpose for which the information was collected (in this case, the screening of job applicants).

“The Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 (EEA) prohibits unfair discrimination against both employees and applicants for employment on the grounds of race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibility, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, HIV status, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language, birth or any other arbitrary ground.”

As such employers should be careful not to decline a candidate based on their social media profile. An employer must ensure that the screening conducted on the employee indicates that the screening showed that the candidate would not meet the inherent requirements of the job.

For help with any Social Media Screening Risk Assessments and Screening or the establishment of a Social Media Policy please contact iFacts on info@ifacts.co.za

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