As Social Recruiting Evolves so do Compliance Issues - Anyone have an experience with this yet?

I read an article by Fay Hansen written for Workforce Management ( . I'm wondering if anyone is currently running hardcore social recruiting programs? And, if you are, have you run into EEO issues yet? Is it coming? Do you have a plan?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is said to be heading towards a greater focus on enforcement and litigation as Jacqueline Berrien is confirmed as chair of the agency. Berrien is predicted to bring an enforcement mind-set to the the job. In fact, the US Dept. of Labor has already started hiring 250 new OFCCP compliance officers that will be kicking tires sooner than later.

While by no means does this article suggest that social recruiting is wrong, it does lead me to believe that a recruiting program heavily predicated on social recruiting could have significant compliance implications in the future unless applicant flow logs have been tailored to account social recruiting efforts.

Are other people thinking about this issue? How are you preparing?

Here is an excerpt of the article by Fay Hansen

"Social networking sites are problematic because the population is limited and highly selective," Roe notes. "I anticipate more race and age claims over the next two years, and a significant portion will be from sourcing through social networking sites, where the users are generally white and age 20 to 40. We'll see lawsuits.

"Employers don't want to pay recruiters, so they take the path of least resistance, but they have to look very carefully at the applicant pool and cast a much broader net. Recruiters are often swept up by the latest process. Minor decisions lead to major consequences."

Using networks for recruiting is ripe with risk for future discrimination claims, says Pamela Devata, a partner at Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago.

"Sourcing from professional network sites such as LinkedIn carries a risk that the method could be challenged on discrimination grounds," Devata says. "It represents a hiring pool that is not open to the general population. Using a limited network may have a disparate impact. If hiring through these networks can be challenged, it will be."

Employers should consider the risk of litigation arising from disparate impact claims.

"If the business practice is to use Twitter and the existing pool is 50 percent female and 20 percent minority, but you're down to zero for both groups because your digital network is heavily male and non-minority, then you must establish that there is a business necessity for the practice," says Paul Mollica, partner at Meites, Mulder, Mollica & Glink in Chicago. "The first company that gets sued for this will have to be very resourceful because it will be very difficult to establish a reason for relying exclusively on Twitter."

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