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Journal cover: info

info

ISSN: 1463-6697

Online from: 1999

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Should human resource managers use social media to screen job applicants? Managerial and legal issues in the USA


Document Information:
Title:Should human resource managers use social media to screen job applicants? Managerial and legal issues in the USA
Author(s):Ross Slovensky, (Department of Management, University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA), William H. Ross, (Department of Management, University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA)
Citation:Ross Slovensky, William H. Ross, (2012) "Should human resource managers use social media to screen job applicants? Managerial and legal issues in the USA", info, Vol. 14 Iss: 1, pp.55 - 69
Keywords:Background screening, Employees, Internet privacy, Legal issues, Personnel selection, Procedural justice, Selection, Social media, Social networking sites
Article type:Literature review
DOI:10.1108/14636691211196941 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors wish to thank Jeff Ross for comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.Received: 21 June 2011Revised 9 July 2011Accepted 31 August 2011
Abstract:

PurposeThe purpose of the present paper is to describe managerial and US legal issues associated with using social networking web sites (SNWs) such as Facebook for personnel selection. Managers must consider the benefits and concerns that using such information presents.

Design/methodology/approachThe paper identifies issues based on the academic literature, theoretical concepts, and current managerial and legal developments as reported in the popular and business press.

FindingsUsing SNWs to screen applicants offers benefits to organizations in the form of gaining a large amount of information about applicants, which may be used to supplement other information (e.g. a resume). It may also help a firm address “negligent hiring” legal concerns. However, other legal considerations as well as issues pertaining to information accuracy, privacy, and justice argue against using such information.

Research limitations/implicationsThroughout the paper, topics are raised which may guide future research.

Practical implicationsBy recognizing both the advantages and disadvantages of using SNW information for applicant screening, managers can make an informed decision as to whether they wish to use this screening method; if so, managers can devise policies that provide the firm with appropriate information while respecting applicant privacy, and complying with US legal and ethical expectations.

Originality/valueWhile much has been written about SNWs, little has been written from an academic perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of accessing applicants' SNWs. The present paper reviews the literature from a variety of disciplines and identifies important issues for researchers and managers.



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